China's Grand Strategy

Weaving a New Silk Road to Global Primacy

by Sarwar A. Kashmeri


China is investing in 68 countries along the New Silk Road to the tune of a trillion dollars.

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Cover image for China's Grand Strategy

July 2019


Pages 171
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Current Events and Issues/International

In the "Great Game" of the 21st century—gaining leadership and influence in Asia—the United States is rapidly being outflanked by China, which is investing in infrastructure, connectivity, and supply chains on an unprecedented global scale.

In this first book to use China's Belt and Road Initiative, previously known as China's New Silk Road, as a point of departure to explain why and how China is about to supersede America with regard to influence in Asia, Sarwar Kashmeri argues that the United States has a narrow window of opportunity to find a way to fit into a world in which the rules of the game are increasingly set by China. U.S. opposition to the Belt and Road Initiative is doomed to failure, so America must find creative ways to engage China strategically, and he warns that the window to do so is closing fast.

The Belt and Road Initiative is China's ambitious project to connect itself to more than 70 countries in Central Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East through new roads, rails, ports, sea lanes, and air links. This cornerstone of Chinese foreign policy under President Xi Jinping is positioning China at the center of over half of world trade, and the loss of American influence and power could well lead to the end of the postwar liberal world order.

Far more than merely an infrastructure investment, the Belt and Road Initiative is a masterful grand strategy to create nothing less than a new world order based on the Chinese model of government and its financial institutions. Yet, as the passing of the baton of world leadership takes place, the United States seems curiously incapable or uninterested in devising a counterstrategy. Even though the United States will no longer have the largest economy in the world, it will still be a powerful and rich country with global alliances.


  • Explains the Belt and Road Initiative, including its historical roots, sources of funding and the financial and aid institutions being set up by China to subsidize and underwrite the projects
  • Describes in detail the most strategically important BRI projects, with the projects' scope, cost, and strategic impact
  • Evaluates the cultural, religious, and economic dangers of each of the key projects that China will have to overcome in order for the BRI to succeed
  • Suggests ways in which the United States might devise a grand strategy to live in the new world China is constructing and to maintain its standard of living
  • Draws from personal research and interviews with prominent Asian and American scholars, businessmen, military officials, and political experts
Author Info

Sarwar A. Kashmeri is adjunct professor of political science and applied research fellow at the Peace and War Center, Norwich University, and a fellow of the Foreign Policy Association. He hosts Carnegie Corporation of New York's "China Focus" podcast series. Kashmeri is an author and current affairs commentator, noted for his expertise on U.S.-China relations, U.S.-EU relations, and NATO. A former international businessman, he has served as a communications advisor to several Fortune 100 companies and brings a global business perspective to his work in U.S. foreign policy and national security strategy.



"Intended for students, researchers and the general public, it deals with complex themes that the author clearly explains, even using pop culture examples. This well-documented book allows readers to better understand the BRI project and realize its growing importance in world affairs."
OBOR Europe


"China's comprehensive grand strategy of modernization, security, and expansionism consists of deeply inter-related objectives. One great strength of Sarwar Kashmeri's wide-ranging new study is to offer a comprehensive analysis of the dynamics between these goals despite the complexity of the task and the unpredictability of the world ahead."—Dr. Parag Khanna, author of Connectography and The Future Is Asian

"A forcefully written case for China's coming domination of key interfaces of global communications and transport. Kashmeri's assessment of China's potential to outrun the U.S. economically and technologically is only a prelude to his description of China's ideological challenges to democracies around the world. This book is a bracing admonition against any over-confident and under-informed American skepticism about the potential of BRI."—Pamela Kyle Crossley, Collis Professor of History, Dartmouth College

"This book lays bare the challenges posed by China's grand strategy for its rise to global dominance. Foreign policy expert Sarwar Kashmeri tells the story of how China's Belt Road Initiative presents a serious challenge to American global dominance, and how America has failed to develop a broad, long-term grand strategy of its own. Anyone concerned with the future of global politics should read this book!"—Larry P. Goodson, Professor of Middle East Studies, US Army War College; and Visiting Fellow, Changing Character of War Centre, Pembroke College, Oxford University

"Sarwar Kashmeri's examination of the Belt and Road Initiative serves to illustrate that China's curation of economic and foreign policy interests around the world has yet to be addressed seriously by an otherwise distracted Washington."—George Magnus, author of Red Flags: Why Xi's China Is in Jeopardy

In the News, Interview: U.S. scholar urges West to better understand BRI, 10/4/2019

Xinhua, China's success comes from 'its own way of governing': US scholar, 10/5/2019

Xinhua, Xinhua Headlines: U.S. experts identify main drivers behind China's historic transformation , 10/7/2019

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