China's Imperial Excuse: The Strategic Motivation Behind China's One Belt, One Road Initiative




Torres, Sarah-Madeleine

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In September 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the creation of a grand project- the One Belt, One Road Initiative. This thesis aims to determine the strategic motivations behind the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by performing process tracing with historical comparative analysis of the BRI against the Dutch Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC), the British East India Company (EIC), and America's Marshall Plan. I am also developing a probability probe that can be used to determine imperial intent, which I call an "imperial excuse". The three criteria of the process tracing are logic of strategy, incursion of costs, and evidence of empire.

I outline and argue the four cases- VOC, EIC, Marshall Plan, and BRI- were used as imperial excuses for the strategic purpose of initiating empires and, through the evidence gathered on each, confirm my hypothesis in each case.


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Belt and Road Initiative, British East India Company, Dutch East India Company, Imperial Tactics, Imperialism, Marshall Plan



Political Science and Geography