In 2013, President Xi Jinping launched “The Belt and Road Initiative” a 21st Century vision of its ancient silk road trade routes. Its stated objective is to integrate China’s growing economy through the global economic system.
Through its various infrastructure projects, BRI runs through the continents of Asia, Europe, and Africa investing trillions in railroads, ports, pipelines, fiber-optic cables, satellites and internet connectivity.
As a consequence of China’s vision for global economic expansion, Chinese companies now have a controlling stake in 76 ports in 35 countries across the world. To protect its vast interests, China has also expanded its global security presence.
How does the BRI conform with China’s geopolitical ambitions? What does it mean for America’s interests and security?
Location: The Richard Nixon Library & Museum, Yorba Linda, CA, United States.
Date: Thursday, May 23, 2019.
Time: 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM PDT.
Karl Eikenberry is the Oksenberg-Rohlen Fellow, Director of the U.S.-Asia Security Initiative and faculty member at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University. He is a Stanford University Professor of Practice, and an affiliate at the FSI Center for Democracy, Development, and Rule of Law, Center for International Security Cooperation and The Europe Center. Prior to his arrival at Stanford, he served as the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan from May 2009 until July 2011, where he led the civilian surge directed by President Obama to reverse insurgent momentum and set the conditions for transition to full Afghan sovereignty.
Jonathan E. Hillman is a senior fellow with the CSIS Simon Chair in Political Economy and director of the Reconnecting Asia Project. At CSIS, he leads an effort to map and analyse new roads, railways, ports, and other infrastructure emerging across the supercontinent of Eurasia. Prior to joining CSIS, he served as a policy adviser at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, where he directed the research and writing process for essays, speeches, and other materials explaining U.S. trade and investment policy. At USTR, he contributed to the 2015 U.S. National Security Strategy, the President’s Trade Agenda, and numerous Congressional testimonies.