The vast economic growing of the last 2 decades was driving China maybe to nowhere. There was no plan, at least not a clear one that aligned a global vision with targets and actions.
Africa is a good example of the invasion of the Chinese industry in key infrastructures. An invasion in the full sense of the word, as it arrived almost in a sudden and with no other permission but that of the local establishment and without any transparency, surrounded by the shadow of corruption.
Hordes of Chinese workers have been the visible face of it for local populations in countries like Angola, some years before the “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) plan was born.
The plan has reunited the Chinese intentions to become an empire again, its ambition to colonize economically. President Xi Ping knew how to create the escape valve to a overproduction that did not find its partner in internal consumption. The crisis or underdevelopment were cannon fodder for this Chinese aspiration. After years of investing billions of dollars to improve its image (i.e.Beijing Olympics), Chinese President Xi Jinping aligned aspirations and actions and created a Master Plan for a new type of colonialism that we cannot call branding, as it lacks the core of it.
Anyway, China is doing it its own way: there where a country needs infrastructures and has no money for them, they go and build, “leveraging their own capital to get involved in helping other countries to get wealthier so they can become customers of Chinese products”, as stated by Nick Marro, an analyst with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
The OBOR has had the ability and power to get 68 countries involved through one reason or another. A new Silk Road, both terrestrial and maritime, configure this ambitious Chinese plan that has landed in many countries and that seeks to integrate China in far markets, from central Europe to Africa and Asia. A giant network of ports, infrastructures, companies, road, and key investments aiming to shape a new map under a Chinese crown.
The lack of transparency of the Chinese way of doing brings serious doubts to the consistency of this huge global action.