CAPE TOWN – China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is the most significant development in global politics in decades, on par with the establishment of the United Nations, the Marshall Plan, and the signing of the Paris Climate Change Accords.
This is according to Dr Iqbal Survé, executive chairperson of the Sekunjalo Group, Independent Media and the African News Agency.
At its core, the BRI is a massive infrastructure development project bankrolled by the Chinese, encompassing roads, bridges, railway lines, harbours, and airports, among others.
The “Belt” in the name refers to the historic Silk Road Economic Belt; the ancient network of trade routes between Europe and the East, as well as Africa, and the surrounding industries that supported it. The “Road” refers to the maritime shipping lanes connecting China to India, Southeast Asia, the Indonesian archipelago, Arabian peninsula, Somalia to Egypt and Europe.