2017年05月14日

中国はあたらしいシルクロードを建設していると言っている。 重要なサミットの前に知っておくべき5つのこと。

China Says It's Building the New Silk Road. 
Here Are Five Things to Know Ahead of a Key Summit 
Charlie Campbell / Beijing 
May 12, 2017

中国はあたらしいシルクロードを建設していると言っている。
重要なサミットの前に知っておくべき5つのこと。

A woman takes pictures in front of a flower display set up ahead of the Belt and Road Forum in central Beijing
A woman takes pictures in front of a flower display ahead of the Belt and Road Forum in central Beijing, China, May 10, 2017. Thomas Peter—Reuters

It’s championed by pliant academics in state newspapers, danced about by ethnically diverse children in propaganda videos, and financed by fretful bankers with little hope of recouping their investments: China’s Belt and Road Initiative is a leviathan transnational infrastructure scheme that's hard to ignore. On Sunday, a two-day summit on President Xi Jinping’s keynote project opens in Beijing, attended by 1,500 delegates from 130 countries, including 29 heads of state and government. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte are the star names on show, and even North Korea is sending a delegation. (Though E.U. leaders are in relatively short supply.)

championed:を擁護する
pliant:思考が柔軟な
diverse:様々の
fretful:いらいらした
recouping:支出を取り戻す
leviathan:巨大なもの

In short, the Belt and Road Initiative (otherwise known as One Belt One Road, or OBOR) is a revival of the iconic land and maritime Silk Road via a trade and infrastructure network spanning East Asia to Western Europe and South through Africa. It consists of roads, railways, ports, pipelines and everything in between across a region with a $26 trillion infrastructure deficit, according to some estimates. The basic idea is to make it easier for China to trade with the world, at a time when its economy is slowing, with the happy corollary that the world will find it easier to trade with each other. But OBOR remains a nebulous, confusing concept, which offers enormous benefits but only if significant challenges can be negotiated.

In short:要約すると
iconic:象徴的な
deficit:赤字
corollary:当然の帰結
nebulous:漠然とした

“Major concerns remain regarding the transparency of how China is financing these projects, and the extent to which China is able to manage security risks in OBOR countries,” says Nick Marro, China analyst for the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Here's what you need to know:
OBOR covers 65% of the world’s population, three-quarters of global energy resources and 40% of GDP. China’s annual trade with OBOR countries already exceeds $1.4 trillion. But Beijing’s overlapping disputes in the South and East China Seas have fed suspicions that OBOR is a Trojan horse for extending its geopolitical clout.

fed:感情を煽る

If so, China is backing that gambit with hard cash: The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor — connecting China’s westernmost city of Kashgar to Pakistan’s port city of Gwadar, some 2,000 miles away — will alone cost $46 billion. (By comparison, the U.S. has spent $33 billion in Pakistan since 2002, two-thirds on security.)

gambit:口火となる言葉・序盤の手

Above all, OBOR signifies that China is embracing an international presence like never before, and the old isolationist adage of “hide your strength, bide your time,” coined by China’s reformist leader Deng Xiaoping, is very much a thing of the past. “The scale of China’s Belt and Road Initiative could eclipse the role of the G-7 or G-20 Forums as a new framework for stimulating infrastructure development in low income developing countries,” writes Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific chief economist for IHS Markit. 

signifies:を示す
adage:格言
bide:好機の到来を待つ
coined:を新造する
eclipse:の影を薄くする

It’s fuzzy:
Even academics who have immersed themselves in OBOR since Xi Jinping unveiled the initiative in 2013 are unsure about the specific parameters. That’s maybe because there are none: any nation, company, organization anywhere is welcome to join OBOR, says Beijing — even the U.S. Only one official map of the project has been produced, though, and that was swiftly withdrawn, leaving analysts and the media to draft their own based upon dribs and drabs of solid information. “Almost anything now can be counted as Belt and Road,” Tom Miller, author of China’s Asia Dream: Empire Building Along the New Silk Road, told a recent talk at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club of China.

fuzzy:ぼやけた
immersed:熱中する
unsure:確信がない
parameters:範囲・限度
dribs:ほんの僅かずつ
solid:中身の詰まった

It’s political:
Before President Donald Trump nixed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, OBOR was seen as Beijing’s rival to that Washington-led free trade pact, which Beijing opted not to join. Some say that China’s offer to help build ports and railways across the region is just a cynical ploy to shift excess capacity overseas, particularly steel. The numbers don’t support that — China’s overcapacity is simply too big — though there are clear geopolitical and security benefits from China diversifying its energy resources. 

nixed:を否定する
diversifying:分散させる

Currently, up to 80% of China’s oil arrives via the Strait of Malacca, thus is vulnerable to blockade in time of war or other crises. New pipelines through Central Asia, Myanmar and Pakistan therefore make strategic sense. As does the idea of strengthening connectivity across Asia, with China very much at its beating heart. “Writing off OBOR is a big mistake,” says Professor Nick Bisley, an Asia expert at Australia’s La Trobe University. “It speaks to a leadership vision that is very Chinese.”

blockade:封鎖する
Writing:失敗とみなす

It’s expensive:
OBOR consists of $900 billion of planned investments, making it probably the grandest investment drive put forward by a single country. In 2015, China transferred $82 billion to three state-owned banks for OBOR projects. It also set up the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) primarily to fund OBOR, of which the $100 billion of initial capital may be doubled soon.

But doubts remain over the financing: Crucially, Xi unveiled OBOR when raw commodity prices were high, thus exploiting hitherto untapped supplies in Central Asia made sense. But today’s historic low prices stamp a big question mark over the economic viability of these projects.

Crucially:決定的なことに
exploiting:資源を開発する
hitherto:これまで
viability:実行可能性

In addition, the political expedience of supporting OBOR means that many seemingly unrelated projects are jumping on the bandwagon in the hopes of securing easy funding. That opens the door for projects that “don’t fit with the government’s strategy or perhaps accelerate systemic risks,” says Nicholas Consonery, a China specialist at FTI Consulting. “Or maybe they are just bad investments.”

It’s not plain sailing:
Back when Marco Polo was meandering to the Far East in the 13th century, Asian trade routes were on the whole freely navigable. Today, however, festering conflicts pepper China’s western flank — including Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of Myanmar, as well as farther afield in Ukraine and the Middle East. China’s own westernmost region of Xinjiang, key to nearly all of the Belt part of the OBOR, is also prone to strife.

plain sailing:順調な航海
meandering:あてもなくさまよう
navigable:航行可能な
festering:悪化する
pepper:散りばめる
flank:側面
afield:遥かに離れて
prone:傾向がある
strife:紛争

Already, a Chinese-financed port in Sri Lanka has been postponed following deadly protests, and the Indian government is rumbling about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which passes though disputed Kashmir. That project is a key part of OBOR, potentially slashing the time of transporting goods from eastern Chinese factories to the Middle East from 12 days to 36 hours. But other than Kashmir, the route also snakes past Taliban territory and Baloch insurgents. 

rumbling:喧嘩をする

The big question is how will China protect its investment. Are we going to see Chinese boots on the ground? That's a prospect that would radically reform the region’s security architecture. “We don’t really know much about co-financing in the host governments, and the kinds of debts and repayments that are going to be involved,” says Carlyle Thayer, emeritus professor at the Australian Defence Force Academy. “And all that infrastructure spanning out from Western China can be hostage to instability.”

emeritus:名誉教授
hostage:に制限される

一帯一路は、2014年11月に中華人民共和国で開催されたアジア太平洋経済協力首脳会議で、習近平総書記が提唱した経済圏構想である。その投資は9,000億ドルと途方も無いものであり、26兆ドルの赤字のインフラ構築である。目玉はパキスタンを経由してインド洋に出る高速道路で、460億ドルも提供する。こうした超大型のプロジェクトはG-7とかG-20を凌ぐような組織となるだろう。

世界のGDPの40%、人口の65%をカバーする。米が入ってくれば世界全体に影響をおよぼすことになる。まさしく、気が遠くなるような大事業が起こる。130カ国が参加する会議というから、明らかに中国は世界の覇権を意識している。凄まじいことだ。昨今の中国の隆盛を見ていると、この先の10年は中国が本当に世界の覇権を掌握してしまうかもしれない。

月曜日。今日は石油会がある。ではまた明日。

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海野 恵一
1948年1月14日生

学歴:東京大学経済学部卒業

スウィングバイ株式会社
代表取締役社長

アクセンチュア株式会社代表取締役(2001-2002)
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