China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) or One Belt One Road (OBOR), better known as the New Silk Road, is increasingly dominating international and national headlines. Announced by the Chinese president Xi Jinping in 2013, this gigantic project aims to strengthen the economic integration of Europe, Asia, Africa and the world through the accelerated development of intercontinental infrastructure and trade networks on land, at sea and in cyberspace.
However, not only China wants to promote connectivity between Asia and Europe, but also Russia, India, Iran and the European Union. All their endeavors reflect partly complementary, partly competing visions of a multi-dimensionally interconnected Eurasia. These geo-economic attempts are not solely about infrastructure construction and transport time reduction but are in fact underway of heralding a new era of globalization in an increasingly multipolar world.
So, like in the era of the old Silk Road network, today not only goods but also people and ideas are travelling across Eurasia. Thus, reconnecting the supercontinent has multiple implications in terms of economy, politics, security and culture.