The New Silk Roads | Peter Frankopan

Summary of: The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World
By: Peter Frankopan


Welcome to the world of ‘The New Silk Roads,’ a captivating journey through the shifting global landscape as economic power moves from West to East. In this thought-provoking book, author Peter Frankopan explores how countries like China and Russia are changing the game with their rising influence and economic prowess. Expect to delve into the significance of international trophy hunting, the implications of Eastern economic growth on tourism, and the increasing cooperation among nations along the historic Silk Roads. You’ll also gain insights into China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative and its potential impact on international affairs as well as the challenges and opportunities the West must navigate in the face of these sweeping changes.

Shifting Global Power and its Consequences

The world’s center of economic power has shifted from the West to the East, leading to a new era of trophy hunting. The new non-Western elite are interested in international events such as the football World Cup, Winter Olympics, and Western art galleries. They also own world-famous English stores, influential newspapers, and have established Western museums in their countries. The rise of Chinese tourism has led to significant changes in the tourism industry and will likely have a larger impact in the future.

Eastward Shift

The Western world is turning towards nationalism and distancing itself from other Western powers. In contrast, the Eastern world is building stronger ties between nations and seeking solutions to shared challenges. The collaboration between states located along the Silk Roads in Central Asia is an example of this trend. Trade and economic cooperation between these countries have been growing, facilitated by important multilateral economic institutions. While the West is undermining free trade agreements, the East is seeking economic harmony among its neighbors.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative

In 2013, President Xi Jinping revealed China’s plan to build a better relationship with its neighbors and foster trade and economic cooperation between Central and South Asia. The ambitious project, known as the Belt and Road Initiative, aims to revitalize ancient bonds and forge greater connections throughout the East. China is investing huge sums of money in over a thousand infrastructure projects in nearly 50 nations, with a vision to encompass a population of 4.4 billion individuals. Beyond economics, President Xi’s goal is to prioritize partnership and dialogue over confrontation, emphasizing friendship and positive global leadership. China is hoping to capitalize on broader trends and demonstrate its suitability for providing international cooperation for the benefit of all.

The American Perception of Globalization

Despite advancements in healthcare, transportation, and energy networks, many Americans are disturbed by the changes brought about by globalization, particularly the acquisition of American companies by foreign owners. China, in particular, has been demonized by politicians and citizens alike. However, a trade war with China may hurt American consumers just as much as it does the Chinese. CEOs of major retailers have warned against imposing tariffs on China, as it will only increase prices of household essentials, punishing ordinary Americans who are already struggling with the effects of globalization.

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