…it remains to be seen if the One Belt, One Road dream will ever become reality, or merely a series of empty promises.
by James Corbett
The International Forecaster
Two weeks ago a train carrying 32 containers of cargo arrived in Tehran. Although you probably didn’t hear about it, this rail shipment changed the face of global geopolitics.
[…] Well, OK, not that particular train itself. But what it represents. You see, this was the first ever shipment of cargo between Wuyi, China and Tehran, Iran, and it only took 14 days to travel the 6,462 miles between the two cities. Compare that to the traditional method of shipment between China and Iran. Those containers would generally be loaded onto ships in Shanghai and travel to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. Total journey time: 44 days. They just shaved a month off the trip.
Again, the significance of this is not the connection between China and Iran, per se. It is that this new rail line represents only one part of a much, much, much more ambitious project: China’s “One Belt, One Road” plan to build a vast transportation infrastructure connecting the “middle kingdom” to destinations all throughout Central and South Asia, Eurasia, and even Europe. The plan is as ambitious as it is comprehensive; consisting of a “Silk Road Economic Belt” and a “21st-Century Maritime Silk Road,” the aim is to link China to 65 countries with a combined population of 4.4 billion people, or more than half the population of the planet.