In 2014 Chinese President Xi Jinping called for an ‘Asia for Asians’ as part of a proposed ‘Asian Security Concept’. This remark seemed provocative at the time but today it increasingly reflects an emerging reality: that Asian powers are having to step up and assume the reins of leadership in enforcing the regional order.
China’s Belt and Road summit is over but the Chinese narrative is only just getting started. In a video released by the state-owned media outlet China Daily, a Western father tells his daughter a BRI bedtime story: ‘China’s idea does not only belong to China. It belongs to the world’. Yet the world – and Europe in particular – still has plenty of reservations about the concept.