By Raffaello Pantucci
First published in RUSI, May 12, 2017
A great deal of rhetoric is expended over China’s gigantic investment initiatives. Still, many of the economic projects are real, and Western governments will be well advised to understand their purpose.
The Middle Kingdom is asserting its centrality in global affairs by hosting the Silk Road summit this weekend. Aimed at showcasing President Xi Jinping’s ‘Belt and Road’ vision, the conference will bring together leaders, officials and experts from around the world.
Apart from the signing of some large deals and some affirmations about China’s eagerness towards free trade, the summit’s real importance is in the message it sends about China’s place in the world.