China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI): India’s and EU’s Perspectives
Dr. Arvind Kumar & Professor Bogdan J. Góralczyk
07 January 2019
The concept, or vision of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), presented in autumn 2013 by the Chinese leader Xi Jinping, came as a surprise even in China, which had been following a low-profile strategy (taoguang yanghui) proposed by the “father of reforms” Deng Xiaoping for the two previous decades. Simultaneously, it came as an even bigger surprise to the outside world, including USA, Japan, India and the European Union (EU), its institutions and member states. No one seemed to be ready to accept a new, assertive and expansive China, proposing its new role as a power centre, like it was for centuries, up to the upheaval of Opium Wars (1839-60) and the following disasters of internal instability and external pressure. China treats the era from 1839 till 1949, which is till the proclamation of People’s Republic of China – PRC, as the “one hundred years of national humiliation” (bainian guochi). Using the term “making justice to history”, and the slogan of “return to its proper place on global scene”, China wishes to settle accounts with the previously stronger states and simultaneously to be placed at the centre of the world again. The BRI, combined with the ambitious aims of Xi Jinping's administration ("fifth generation of leaders") on domestic scene known as "two centenary goals", present a new, assertive China, ready to be one of the major global center of powers, if not the center alone. Especially after achieving a second goal that is known as "great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation", which - inter alia - requires a peaceful reunification with Taiwan.