Do you know what these Chinese characters stand for?
If so, congratulations, you are more 21st century than 99.99% of humanity. For you have heard of the most grandiose project of our time - connecting 60 countries and influencing the world economically, socially and politically. And you even recognise how the Chinese refer to it. Welcome to ? ?... or OBOR.
'One Belt, One Road'
Also named The New Silk Road, that trade route that connected China with the Middle East and Europe for over 1000 years. And which is the inspiration for this mind boggling project.
What is it? China wanting to connect over 60 countries by means of roads, trains and shipping routes. The BELT goes over land in the north, the ROAD is the shipping route in the south.
And it all ends in Madrid. So, yip, Europe is not out of the picture yet, we might all still feel the fringes of its waves.
What's so spectacular about OBOR?
China buying a harbour such as Piraeus in Greece? OBOR. A 3000 km long railroad through the Amazone? OBOR. The duration of shipping routes slashed in half? OBOR. Previously half forgotten countries as Georgia and the -Stans becoming the new hubs of 60% of the world's economy? OBOR. Not the best of friends - Russia, India, China - at least integrating a bit economically, which is always the best foundation for peace? OBOR. The Chinese for years having been constructing motorway in East Africa? OBOR.
It is intended to improve, intensify and lift up the whole economy and be mutually beneficial for all countries on the belt. Arguably especially China: monitoring the tests of trains between Madrid and China, the Spanish are not very impressed so far: the trains arrive full but mainly leave half empty back to China, so it's not greatly improving the export (of olive oil).
'We've had a difficult century'
Leave it up to a Chinese diplomat to say such a thing. If your language is 5000 years old, very roughly competing with the likes of Hebrew and Persian, and you can recall cultural highlights of 3000 years ago - one does not have a short time attention span. We could guess that OBOR has been in the ropes for - and aimed at - a very Chinese 'while'.
OK, we are at the fringe of it, an 'end station'. Which is better than 130 other countries can say - and if you live in Andalucia, it's not because you want to be in the centre of it all. But but but it's pleasant to know though that also in the 21st century, our country will still be a 'player'. Also Málaga with its 'Málaga Valley' project is a great sign that at least this corner of the sleepy Old Continent intends to forever keep reinventing itself.
See you soon at Malaga Maria Zambrano, buying a ticket to Peking.
We hope this article , as any other, was a garden carried in a pocket. May your business flourish, and wish us a long life to share the beauty of this graceful autumn light.
Grapevine Properties Guaro, inland Málaga www.grapevine-properties.com