I participated in a panel entitled Shifting Registers in International Economic Law and Development.
The Belt and Road Initiative since its announcement by Xi Jinping has projected a lot of opportunities and concerns around the world. The mainstream in International Relations field has either classified the initiative under the Realist or Liberalism, thus, framing it as the projection of power or the attempt to generate interdependence. This panel session is looking into discussing alternatives to mainstream theories, especially by engaging into a constructivist approach in which ideational factors should be considered in building economic relations among Global South countries by identify the Bandung Spirit.
The issue of the alignment between New Era Socialist Trade and New Era Socialist Human Rights has become a significant focus of the global community. My presentation, "Belt and Road Initiative and the Future of Global Trade?" focused on the embedding of China's Belt and Road Initiative within the global framework of business and human rights regulation.
The explosion of Chinese exports has become one of the most significant events in international trade and investment. China has also been pursuing stronger influence in the global market by proactively engaging in the negotiation of international trade and investment partnerships and agreements. That explosion is just one aspect of an emerging integrated approach to global relations. China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is meant to embrace trade, development, infrastructure projects and capacity building with its partners. BRI represents a new way of approaching trade within a more comprehensive framework. It represents the beginning of an effort to produce a Socialist international relations. But it is also meant to embed itself into the current framework of international hard and soft law. This presentation discusses these themes in one context—the embedding of BRI within global frameworks of business and human rights. It builds its examination around three questions: Is it possible to construct a Socialist BRI based business and human rights framework? If so, what would it look like and how would it differ from contemporary understandings? To what extent may China’s international engagements provide a guide?