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The rise of the Eurasian silk road

By Dan Steinbock | | Updated: 2016-11-08 15:04

From SCO security to economic development

At the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit, Premier Li also backed the creation of a development bank and fund to boost financial cooperation. The proposal was signed by member countries of the five-country group: China, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Li also proposed that China was open to the establishment of a free-trade zone among the SCO members.

“The transition to a preferential trade regime within the SCO is a complicated matter,” said Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Free trade among the SCO members will not happen overnight, but it is something that could take cooperation to a new level in the not-too-distant future.

The proposed development bank and fund, and the free-trade zone, complement not only the OBOR Initiative, but also the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the BRICS New Development Bank, and the China-proposed free-trade initiatives, which rely on regional and trans-regional economic integration .

But, historically, an economically strong, politically coordinated and strategically united Eurasia has not been in Washington’s interest. As Zbigniew Brzezinski, a veteran US security adviser, argued in The Grand Chessboard (1997) that “a non-Eurasian power is preeminent in Eurasia and America’s global primacy is directly dependent on how long and how effectively its preponderance on the Eurasian continent is sustained”.

In this view, the Eurasia is a grand chessboard, which has room for only one ‘hegemon’ - the United States.

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