This newest endeavor from the brain trust of Modern Diplomacy examines what we believe will be the single most significant transnational geopolitical initiative undertaken by a country in this first half of the 21st century and perhaps beyond. China’s Belt and Road Initiative is much more than a simple Chinese political plan to push further economic development for its own domestic consumption. We believe it is also much more than a noble international effort to develop a so-called modern and technologized Silk Road, reconnecting the majority of the globe around massive infrastructure development and intensified economic partnerships. It is also, thinking more strategically and in classic terms of old school realism, not some diabolical plan to render more than half of the globe’s economic activity under the political thumb of the People’s Republic of China.
More than anything else, the effort of the contributors to our BRIDGE project will expose such biased thinking and overly simplistic posturing, aiming instead to reveal the important subtleties, nuances, and long-term consequences of the BRI. By looking in deep and following all of the connective networks, seen and unseen, overt and covert, MD’s BRIDGE Project hopes to not just be a chronicler of how the Belt and Road Initiative gets off the ground. Rather, it hopes to become a legitimate contributor and watchdog in and of itself, informing all of the diverse actors directly and indirectly involved with the BRI. When our readers begin to understand just how all-encompassing and embracing the BRI could potentially be, the true grandeur of the scope of this undertaking will be revealed. Investigating and analyzing the diplomatic, geopolitical, and economic aspects of the Bridge and Road Initiative allows us the chance to interact with just about every major corporation on the globe, with more than 50 major countries looking to heighten their impact and role on the global stage, and with some of the most important leaders and agencies currently in play.
The BRIDGE is more than just an intellectual project: it strives to be a connector between all of the players. A beneficial bridge to the BRIDGE, if you will. In the coming years, we hope this project will be seen as influential and impactful as the actual BRI itself. Grandiose aims, to be sure, but not recklessly spoken nor aimlessly pursued. Here at Modern Diplomacy we welcome all of our readers, young and old, new and longstanding, to engage the biggest undertaking of our careers. In so doing, you yourselves will hopefully be making as many new partners, learning as many new possibilities, as China itself hopes the BRI will produce, from the Pacific all the way to the North Sea.
These are exciting times in which we live. May the BRIDGE be one of the foundational knowledge-producers for you in your own efforts to make your way forward. This is not a project for those who want to sit on the sidelines. It is for those who want to be in the middle of it all! ~ Dr. Matthew Crosston