Published 2 August 2017
This article represents initial and ongoing efforts to map and plot the major legal and policy dimensions and dynamics of China's Belt and Road ("OBOR") Initiative. OBOR is now arguably the most important component of China's economic diplomacy and its international trade and investment relations. Tracing the historic Silk Road trading routes, the Belt and Road Initiative has sweeping geopolitical implications.
The first section of this article considers the rapidly changing nature of interactions between the United States, the European powers, Russia, and China from a geopolitical perspective. The second section considers the implications of such geopolitical shifts for the future conduct of international relations and business with China, which may be conditioned by proposed public international law changes currently advocated by the Chinese government. The third section examines new developments at the domestic level, marked by China's trade and economic policy adjustments in light of rebalancing, and its increasing focus on the use of public-private partnerships ("PPPs") and private investment, both internally and externally. This section also highlights recent foreign investment liberalization measures and the proliferation of foreign trade zones ("FTZs") on the Mainland. The fourth section reverts to the international landscape identifying major distinguishing characteristics of China's OBOR architecture, including strategic partnerships and FTAs, as well as outlining current negotiations of inter-related Eurasian and African mega-regional trade agreements ("RTAs"). The fifth section addresses particular OBOR implementation mechanisms, including the novel use and status of economic/transit corridors and the central role of trade facilitation. Finally, the article explores OBOR implications of China's participation in international commercial and investment arbitration. The article notes China's gradual opening in favour of investment arbitration, analysing China's investment treaty-making trends.
his paper will be part of the TDM Special Issue on "One Belt One Road (OBOR)". More information here: https://www.transnational-dispute-management.com/news.asp?key=1652