Understanding the Belt and Road Initiative under the realm of Maritime Security

NICKELED AND DIMED

Abstract

Ever since the Global Financial crisis (2008), China has made repeated forays into utilising economic means to define maritime security. Initially, this came around through stray efforts at naval modernisation to defend and enhance Chinese connectivity abroad until President Xi Jinping proposed the Belt and Road initiative. Since then the subsequent benefits and pitfalls of this initiative have prompted western policymakers to assess China’s global ambitions through the dual lens of investment and infrastructure. In this sense, the BRI has been sure to set alarm bells in the west over a possible Chinese economic hegemony in the developed world prompting them to rush forth with initiatives of their own such as Build Back Better. Accordingly, this paper seeks to analyse how throughout the years, China has used economic forays to define maritime security for itself up until the creation of the Maritime Silk Road – a strategic sea route…

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