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One Belt, One road; an Initiative for the overall prosperity of the region

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One Belt, One road; an Initiative for the overall prosperity of the region

The new Silk Road; the prospect of this long-term economic plan of China as the overall stability of the region and the world. But where Afghanistan stands in this big project?

Today Asia faces tremendous economic and political developments as the most populous continent in the world. The emergence of new actors and the presentation of ambitious plans on their behalf to achieve long-term economic and political goals are evident. China is one of these emerging actors who is working on a Road Belt Initiative in the form of a macroeconomic strategy to become an uncontested power for a good economy for the people of mainly Asian countries and countries that are on the path to this plan. In addition to gaining economic benefits, it is highly determined to expand its sphere of political influence. Understanding China as an emerging power becomes increasingly important. The country’s current top priority in international politics is the promotion of a major Silk Road project.
This project could be analyzed based on the content of China’s commercial and industrial policy. From this perspective, China’s key goal of designing and implementing this macroeconomic plan is to form the Chinese Value Chain in the geo-economic environment of Eurasia and Africa, which over the past two years has seen more than half of China’s investment projects in Eurasia and Africa and it has been defined and supported by the Chinese government. In order to better understand China’s industrial and commercial policy in the framework of its macro-foreign policy, it should be the main components of its foreign policy as the second largest economy in the world, combined with the country’s growing economic presence, along with capabilities such as the massive population, geopolitical position, the growing military and rich culture to better understand the importance of paying attention to the country’s attitudes and initiatives on the international scene and explain the implications of these initiatives.The plan, which includes about 4.4 billion people worldwide (65%) and 21 trillion of unannounced global production, includes 70 countries, and was announced by the Chinese president, Xi Jinping in 2013. The basic question for any Afghan in this direction of this big economic plan is that why Afghanistan despite of having a suitable route is not part of this big economic project while this project is being implemented by its neighborChina. In spite of the challenges facing this war-torn country, Afghanistan can be seen as part of this plan. Because Afghanistan, as a neighbor of this emerging economic (China) enjoying warm diplomatic relations with this country. The opportunities that Afghanistan can offer as a crossroads in this area can provide for the world’s largest economy, such as China, is important for maintaining good relations between the two countries and for gaining major economic benefits for China.
The purpose of writing this article, despite its lack of relevance to Afghanistan, is to clarify this macroeconomic framework that China can play as an increasingly potentially economic and political alternative in the future of Asia. The new Silk Road roadmap launched in 2013 includes divisions of land and sea. Its landpath extends from East Asia to Central Asia, then to West Asia, the Mediterranean, and Eastern Europe. At the same time, the sea route connects the South China Sea with the Mediterranean. China’s goal of this plan, apart from the economic and political consequences for China, will bring China   more actively involved in expanding and playing a more active role in Asia, Europe and Africa, which will connect these three continents through this plan.  China’s international competition in the international economy, China’s growing influence on Asia’s economy, and significant growth in China’s economic and commercial activity in Africa, as compared to other powers, especially the United States, suggests that China is rebuilding the Silk Road and drawing a belt in the economy seeks to gain access to the global marketplace and seeks to expand its international transport corridor and rely on cost-effective solutions.
The old Silk Road, which the new Silk Road, based on its foundations, was used two thousands years ago and has a worldwide reputation. This route was an important bridge between China and the countries of Asia, Europe and Africa for the material and civilian exchanges between the East and West. This route was a land trade route between China and South Asia, Western Europe, and Africa via Central Asia on the old days. The new Silk Road has been designed along the lines of this historic plan and has made China pioneer the way for intercontinental trade to facilitate economic and political convergence by relying on a “peaceful development” policy. So far, two plans have been put forward on the Silk Road, one developed by the United States in 2011 based on the US prominent strategist’sFederic Starr and its second plan by China in 2013. The new Silk Road project proposed by the US, in which Afghanistan plays a vital role, is trying to connect the Russian infrastructure (railways, roads, and transmission lines) to Central Asia, and then to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. This plan seeks to establish new ways to reach the East. While the new silk design proposed by China is contrary to that. The Chinese government launched its own initiative, the “Silk Road of the 21st Century” in October 2013, in September of that year, China launched the new Silk Road Economic Belt, which aims to create the necessary infrastructure for the regional cooperation that has been made by Xin Jiang (The north-western part of China) up to the Baltic Sea).
The Chinese government uses the term “ One Belt, one road” for two purposes: The silk road map of China, organized without ideological considerations based on geopolitical and geostrategic realities, addresses the revival of the ancient Silk Road and its development. The plan has been introduced to promote friendly neighborhoods and win-win games for all countries in the region as well as the world. The main goal of this macroeconomic plan is to create a regional partnership, create political flexibility, improve economic growth, propose a diversification of trade and investment in transport, mining and energy sectors. All this provides an unprecedented historical opportunity for China and the countries that are on the path to exist, using the historical trade of economic and political development, in the context of peaceful trading, which is a feature of China’s foreign policy, for the sake of security, economic growth, regional and global convergence in both political and economic terms, creating an alternative to the existing global order and reducing the risks of hegemony.
The plan can be explored in the theoretical framework of the Copenhagen School. This school is based on two theoretical approaches of Constructivism and Realism. This school is the most coordinated effort to develop the theory or theoretical framework for the examination of security according to constructivist theory. As the Copenhagen School examines a wide range of actors and variables exist in the analysis and explanation of the phenomenon of foreign policy and in particular, it can provide a specific theoretical framework and a community for explaining the foreign policy of the countries and their external interfaces. This school is based on elements such as the belief in the existence of states, the consolidation of national interests and the centrality of the security issues. The Copenhagen School, due to its widespread security profile, includes military, political, social, economic, and environmental sections. Thus, the design of “One Belt-One road” is analyzed in the framework of the theory of the Copenhagen School, and in reality the realization of this economic belt of the Silk Road on the basis of the Copenhagen School can be analyzed so that the plan will create a set of units that process and their security has been so tied up that the tangible and numerous results in realizing this plan will eventually lead to massive changes. Among the significant effects of this plan, the economic convergence, economic growth of the countries of the region, the emergence of new security challenges and finding ways are the most important elements to counter them.
The expansion of trade in emerging transit corridors will have a different impact on the countries of the region and the world. These new transit routes, where China, Europe, India and Russia will be able to exchange high-value goods more efficiently from its transportation with ferries or railroads. At the beginning of this article, proposed that China and Central Asia should work together to build the Silk Road Economic Belt for further cooperation in the region. In the same year, China’s major dimensions of this project were: political communications, the Pacific link to the Baltic Sea and the formation of a transportation network connecting East Asia to the West and South Asia. The goal of this rapid economic development plan is for China, which will include Central Asian countries. This plan will pass through governments with vast reserves of energy and minerals. The main focus of this route is to connect transport infrastructure between Asia and Europe. This plan includes a wide network of highways, high-speed railways, pipelines and optical fiber networks between the mentioned areas. The implementation of this great strategy will help China to maintain its integrity with Western countries.
 This project will also provide China with a platform to plan its political influence in the West’s turn to the heart of Asia. Beijing has declared itself the main source of investment in this plan. 
In this framework, the overall picture of the new Silk Road indicates that the long-term strategic goal of China is to strengthen the use of the Yuan (the currency of China) for international transfers and to reduce reliance on the United States.
In fact, the “One Road-One belt”, is literally the idea of “China’s dream” which is looking for a better life for the entire world’s population. Along the path of a “One road- One belt” 65 countries pass from the Central Asia to South Asia, Eastern Europe, East Asia, and North Africa, 4.4 billion people with an income of $ 21 trillion make up 63 percent. The “One road -One Belt” has a global capacity. In 2013, China’s trade with the countries around the track was about $ 1 trillion, accounting for a quarter of China’s foreign trade volume. In the past 10 years, China’s trade with these countries has risen at an annual average rate of 19%. This in fact means the existence of an open space for the continuation of this economic process with political support. The”One Belt- One Road” initiativebased on New Silk Road project prolong from the north to Moscow, from the south to the Pacific, from the east to Latin America and from the west to Germany, which is wider and wider than the old Silk Road. This road will not only mean the transit of Chinese goods to destinations in Europe and Africa, but also enables the people of these two continents to come to China and buy such products. In fact, the “One road- One Belt” policy is a comprehensive product of China, which is actively displaying China’s upstream policy. The project is, in fact, an initiative for the formation of a large Eurasian market and a new model of globalization of the Chinese model, which not only leads to economic growth, but also makes for the understanding of civilizations and cultures.
It is noteworthy that the economic belt of the Silk Road and the sea Silk Road is a new all-embracing model and a new framework for China’s Neighborhood Diplomacy, as China’s emphasis on preserving national integrity and political stability has been at the forefront of China’s economic growth over the past two decades. It is about securing stability and a peaceful foreign environment that allows itself economic growth and development. China is currently the largest global economy and has more confidence in trade and political scenes.
It seems that China has not only made economic progress, but also has leaps in the field of political interactions. More China’s emphasis on Peripheral diplomatic approach and the maintenance of a peaceful environment are examples of this issue. Chinese President Xi Jinping announced in 2013 that the path to peaceful development of the party’s strategic choices over time and in the interests of the country. The main goal of this diplomacy is peace and stability in the region: “The principle of friendly Chinese diplomacy with neighbors and honesty is a way of fostering more friends and partners.” Working with neighbors should be based on shared resources and a network of near-shared resources. According to the Chinese People’s Congress, the main spirit of the project has been to the benefit of the community. In fact, it is not only an effort to achieve the economic benefits but an attempt to achieve common humanitarian interests in order to provide a new model of international cooperation for injection of positive energy on the international order which is based on peripheral diplomacy of China the areas of East and South-East of Asia are important strategic areas.
China’s Strategic Objectives of “One Belt- One Road” Plan are as following:
1. Deepening of regional economic convergence and guarantee the flow of energy;
2. Advancing development projects to overcome the problems of the Xinjiang state;
3. Creating grounds for greater stability and integrity in the region through the encirclement of Western China’s neighbors;
4. Construction of a belt of a Chinese road that could reach a transit route to Europe and Africa.
But it should be noted that China is a very functional in implementing the roadmap, and has no political and ideological programs inside it, nor does it have any involvement incontroversial projects. On the other hand, having the second-largest economy in the world and playing a leading role in the Shanghai organization, China’s strong significant potential returns to change he region.
But where in Afghanistan is this big economic plan?
As this big economic plan is due to change the direction of international trade and bring economical and political convergence to the surrounding countries, it is a good alternative to overcoming the tensions to move further towards convergence and removing barriers to international economic growth. Why has Afghanistan been marginalized as a strategic location in this plan? Has the tensions and rivalries between China and the United States affected this issue? Was not appropriate the position of this country the southern route to the ocean? Regarding the design of a “One belt- One Road” that includes a large network of routes, the Chinese leaders have planned large-scale plans to implement “One belt- Oneroad” and they are more sensitive to the security of all the countries that are on this path. Road, sea and rail transit routes to Europe and Africa, and Afghanistan is also at the heart of these areas. Therefore, any unrest and civil war in Afghanistan are likely to affect neighboring areas. Therefore, building security and stability in Afghanistan is a priority for Beijing.
Initially, it was said that the big project, which China plays as a neighbor of Afghanistan, plays a major role in the neighborhood of Afghanistan, but unfortunately, Afghanistan remains unfulfilled. If we look at this issue, we realize that there is a will, and as previously pointed out that China has never called for intervention in disputed projects and is very cautious in its investment and if China wills Afghanistan could be a new route to the Indian Ocean through Iran. This will be a great success for this large-scale economic project and for the benefit of its partners. The Chabahar-Sarakhs railway connecting the southeast of Iran from the Chabahar port (the only Iranian oceanic port) to the Sarakhs, northeast along the Turkmenistan border, links the Central Asian Ocean to the Indian Ocean. In the middle of this Kharaf-Herat railway in Afghanistan connects Afghanistan from the nearest rail link to the Indian Ocean. India, despite the opposition of the project and the proposed Mausam project (which could challenge the new China-led silk road design, and India’s perspective to rebuild the commercial and ancient Indian Ocean world).  And as an Afghanistan business partner, and Afghanistan itself, are active on this project and are interested in building this corridor, which could be the southern route of the Silk Road to the sea. This is in fact the spirit of the present essay. Because, thankfully, the policy of all partners and interests such as Afghanistan and India consider the expansion of economic cooperation to be the basis of cooperation and political understanding for the security of the region, and considers it important to reduce existing regional tensions.
In addition, the special geographic location of Afghanistan is of particular importance for the country, which is of great importance in terms of the transit of merchandise and transit of oil pipelines in the region. This will enable Afghanistan to achieve the huge economic benefits and achievements on the one hand, and will provide economic prosperity on the other, and will provide a platform for facilitating the southern route of this major economic plan. This requires understanding the realities, taking advantage of opportunities and getting ready to use such an opportunity to the Afghan government and the Chinese side. Because the most important international transportation corridor that has existed in the transit of goods between European and Asian countries is the North-South transport corridor, where Afghanistan can be a key element. Within the framework of the Silk Road, there are many opportunities for cooperation between the two countries, which not only benefits the Afghan economy, but also helps the country to move forward and bring significant economic progress in the region.
Previously, Afghanistan was recognized as a sensitive area in the region. It is located at the intersection of Central, Western and South Asia, and therefore has a geopolitical and geo-economic special significance, and Afghanistan is an inevitable factor in this type of business engagement within the framework of economic cooperation. If the Chinese authorities do not pay attention to the importance of Afghanistan and do not take this country with opportunities and challenges, it can have a negative impact on economic interactions. From the negative aspect of Afghanistan, it’s like a lock that can cut Southern, Western, and Central Asia. But the positive side of the country can open the door to regional cooperation and can connect to both the Silk Road Economic Belt. Only when the Afghan lock is opened can the economic belt of the Silk Road of China be able to communicate economically, financially and socially, but if the lock of Afghanistan remains closed, it will ultimately hinder any progress in the implementation of this plan.
1- Arianfar, Aziz , The vacant position of Afghanistan on the new Silk Road, the second part, available in the webpage  of IRAS;
2-Amir Ahmadian, Bahram, China’s New Silk Road Initiative (goals, interests, the challenges), Quarterly Journal of International Relations, Vol. 9, No. 36, Winter 2015;
3-Ebrahimi, Nabiollah, A glance on basics and Culture of Copenhagen School, Foreign Policy Quarterly, Office of Political and International Studies, No. 8, 2007;
4-Boozan, Barry, Weaver, A New Framework for Security Analysis, Translated by Ali Reza Tayeb, Tehran Strategic Studies Research Institute;
5-Shariati Nia, Mohsen, Economic Belts of Silk Road: China Chain Value, Foreign Relations Quarterly, Eighth, No. 3, Autumn, 2015, p. 85-113.
6- Askarpour, Mohammad Ali, |The leap of China to consolidate its hegemony in Afghanistan, Tanin website, 2014,