Diplomatic Council
The new silk road – new insights at first hand 

More than 100 participants attended the event dealing with the topic “The new silk road” which was jointly organized by Diplomatic Council, New Silk Road Partnership and House of Logistics and Mobility.


On this occasion, Helmut von Siedmogrodzki, Chairman Diplomatic Council SME Forum, Secretary General Hang Nguyen and Dr. Karin von Bismarck, CEO of New Silk Road Partnership, officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding between Diplomatic Council and New Silk Road Partnership for the purpose of strengthening collaboration and expanding both organisation’s network. 


Further to the signing, Prof. Dr. Carsten Müller from the Fulda University and Uwe Leuschner, Senior Vice President Eurasia, DB Cargo AG lectured on the gigantic centennial project providing deep insights on its challenges and benefits and the potential of this project. 


Here are the key findings: 

More than 100 countries have directly or indirectly become part of the “New Silk Road” which opens up various new business opportunities.  Prof. Dr. Müller explains: ”The Chinese dragon has slept for quite a while. Once it awakes, it will change the world. The new silk road is much bigger than the old one since it now also comprises the continent of Africa in addition to Asia and Europe. According to estimates, more than 3 billion people will become part of this project which corresponds to more than half of the world population. China plans to invest 900 billion Dollars in this project in the next ten years focusing in particular on infrastructure projects. A Chinese proverb says: “If you want to become rich with trade, start building a road first”. 


China only vs. America first


In this context one must not believe that China has become a capitalist state because it still pursues the ideas of Karl Marx. The current state capitalism is considered a preliminary stage of socialism. China has ambitions to become the strongest economic power in 2025. By the time China has achieved this goal, a global competition of social systems will occur: the Western liberal capitalism of Europe and the United States will be attacked by a system which is based on Marxism. From the Chinese point of view, socialism is better suited to bring prosperity to the majority of the population than capitalism which China believes will only serve a minority of people. Surely the silk road project is carried by China's political motivation to gradually establish this system in Asia, Europe and Africa. 


It appears the increasing wedge between Europe and the USA is very convenient for the Chinese policy which opposes the “America first” strategy with its  “China only” approach while Europe seems to fall apart into European provincialism given its increasing nationalism. The Unites States, in turn, will apply all its power to keep China from achieving its goal of taking over the innovation leadership in 2025. As a result, the confrontation with Europe and in particular with Germany is inevitable: more than ever before, China will attempt to take over German know-how and German companies with strong technology. In contrast to Germany, which doesn’t think more than 5 years ahead, China has put together a plan for the next 50 years and beyond. The development of the Eurasian railway system reveals China ambitions. China has invested 130 billion Dollars in a high-speed railway system between Asia and Europe for the purpose of transporting goods from China to Europe within a day. Already in 2020, China plans to transport 2 billion containers on this land route. 


Russia is caught in the middle: Europe does not want to integrate Russia in its community on the grounds that Russia does not share European values. On the other hand, Russia has to cope with China’s increasing claim to power. As a result, Russia will have to fight alone for its interests. 


So how true is the thesis that political considerations have taken precedence over economic ones? Reality shows that economy has long taken over a pioneering role while politics is lagging behind. The last raw material remaining to the United States is the programming of Apps and the shaping of the digital world. However, beyond that, there is a increasing global demand for real raw materials.