President Xi Jinping's 'dream' is a reference to the former glory of the Chinese nation, and more specifically the economic and cultural dominance that the kingdom enjoyed two millenia ago
The 'One Belt, One Road' initiative, is widely regarded as the project of the century, the likes of which China has thrown its full financial weight behind
The initiative has been viewed with great incredulity and concern by economically powerful Western nations, that have labelled it a blatant expansionist endeavour, aimed to permanently tilt the economic balance from the Atlantic to the Pacific
Following his consolidation of power as leader of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and President of China, Xi Jinping, in several speeches has alluded to what he has labelled the “Chinese Dream,” harkening back to a golden age of Chinese global hegemony that the millenia old civilisation experienced over two thousands years ago. Within the confines of his rhetoric is housed a civilisational philosophy broadly encapsulated in China's perception of itself as the Middle Kingdom or Zhonggou of the world.
The term, supposedly, has its routes in the years before the unification of the Chinese empire, when the region was more an agglomeration of independent states. At the time, it quite literally referred to the middle of these regions, but in the 19th century, it came to embody a notion of universality formed from a deeply ethnocentric mould. Essentially, it described a vision of the world with China at its centre, founded on the principle of Chinese exceptionalism.
President Xi Jinping's 'dream' then, is a reference to the former glory of the Chinese nation, and more specifically the economic and cultural dominance that the kingdom enjoyed two millenia ago, as the architect of the Great Silk Road, an extensive maritime and land passageway that connected the Eastern and Western hemispheres of the world. The route derives its name from the booming trade of Chinese silk that took place along this corridor during the Han Dynasty. Over time, the Silk Road came to become a symbol of power, control and profit, extending over four thousand miles from the mainland across to Europe.
The New Silk Road then, an ambitious project announced by President Xi Jinping in 2013, is a modern re-conception of this lost route. The NSR, also called the 'One Belt, One Road' initiative, is widely regarded as the project of the century, the likes of which China has thrown its full financial weight behind. It will, reportedly, reinforce Chinese trade with 40 nations, and is estimated to generate trade valued at a staggering $2.5 trillion. China has already created a special $40 billion Silk Road Fund, and secured a foundational memorandum with the Asian Investment Bank towards an infusion of $100 billion in capital.