China’s “Belt and Road” Policy Echoes the Soviets Foreign Policy of the 70s



Recently Kevin Price, Host of the nationally syndicated Price of Business Show, interviewed Jeffrey Schloesser.

Price and retired Major General Jeffrey Schloesser discuss China’s “Belt and Road” Policy and its similarities to the strategy and tactics used in the 1970s to move nonaligned countries into its sphere of influence.

China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has been hailed as a transformative infrastructure project with the potential to connect economies and foster global development. However, beneath the surface, concerns have arisen regarding the possible subjugation of participating countries to the People’s Republic of China (PRC). This article explores the parallels between China’s BRI and the Soviet Union’s expansionist policies during the 1970s, shedding light on potential risks associated with China’s approach.

The Belt and Road Initiative: Launched in 2013, the BRI aims to enhance global connectivity through infrastructure projects spanning Asia, Europe, Africa, and beyond. It encompasses a vast network of railways, ports, pipelines, and other projects, promoting trade and economic cooperation. By investing heavily in partner countries, China seeks to solidify its economic and political influence worldwide.

Risks of Subjugation: While the BRI promises development opportunities, concerns have been raised about the potential for participating countries to become economically and politically dependent on the PRC. By providing loans and financing projects, China can exert significant control over its partners. In some cases, this has resulted in a debt trap, where countries struggle to repay their loans, leading to China assuming greater leverage and influence. This unequal power dynamic could lead to subjugation and loss of sovereignty.

Similarities with Soviet Expansion: The expansionist policies pursued by the Soviet Union during the 1970s bear some resemblance to China’s BRI. The Soviets extended economic aid and loans to developing countries, fostering political alliances and acquiring strategic assets in the process. This expansion was accompanied by ideological influence and interference in the internal affairs of recipient countries. Similarly, China’s BRI projects often come with political conditions and can facilitate the spread of its political ideologies, potentially undermining local governance.

Lessons from History: Studying the Soviet Union’s expansion provides valuable insights into the potential risks associated with China’s BRI. It highlights the importance of vigilance in protecting national interests and ensuring that economic cooperation does not compromise political independence or strategic autonomy. Partner countries must carefully evaluate the long-term consequences of their engagement with China and establish robust mechanisms to safeguard their sovereignty and economic stability.


China’s Belt and Road Initiative, while presenting opportunities for economic development, carries inherent risks of subjugation for participating countries. The similarities between China’s expansionist approach and that of the Soviet Union during the 1970s highlight the need for caution. Partner countries must carefully balance economic cooperation with safeguarding their sovereignty and independence, ensuring that they are not unduly influenced or subordinated to the PRC’s strategic interests.

According to a statement, “Major General Jeffrey Schloesser (US Army Ret) author of Marathon War: Leadership in Combat in Afghanistan.

“From Major General Jeffrey Schloesser—former Commanding General of the 101st Airborne Division and Regional Command-East—comes a revealing memoir of leadership in the chaos and fog of the Afghanistan War.

“Join Major General Schloesser in the daily grind of warfare fought in the most forbidding of terrain, with sometimes uncertain or untested allies, Afghan corruption and Pakistani bet-hedging, and the mounting casualties of war which erode and bring into question Schloesser’s most profoundly held convictions and beliefs. Among several battles, Schloesser takes readers deep into the Battle of Wanat, where nine U.S. soldiers were killed in a fierce, up-close fight to prevent a new operating base from being overrun. This encounter required Schloesser to make tactical decisions that had dramatic strategic impact, and led him to doubts: Can this war even be won? If so, what will it take?”This book is a rare insight and reflection into the thoughts of critical national decision-makers including President George W. Bush, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, then-Senator Barack Obama, and numerous foreign leaders including Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Key military leaders—including then Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen, then Central Command Commanding General David Petraeus, then Lieutenant General and future Chairman Martin Dempsey, and International Security Force Commander General David McKiernan—all play roles in the book, among many others, including Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Mark Milley and Army Chief of Staff General James McConville. Analyzing their leadership in the chaos of war Schloesser ultimately concludes that successful leadership in combat is best based on competence, courage, and character

The book is “Marathon War: Leadership in Combat in Afghanistan.”

“BIO: Jeff Schloesser is a retired Army Major General who commanded the 101st Airborne Division for thirty-three months, including fifteen months in combat in Afghanistan. In his thirty-four-year Army career he served in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, Albania, Kuwait, Haiti, Jordan, Korea, and twice in Germany.

“He was an assistant division commander in the 101st Airborne Division in Iraq 2003-04, the first Global War on Terrorism Planning Director in the Pentagon after 9/11, and the first Deputy Director at the National Counterterrorism Center for Strategic Operational Planning.

“An aviator, Jeff commanded two battalions of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment and a brigade task force in Albania and Kosovo.

“He resides with his wife Patty in Park City, Utah, and northern Virginia. He has completed thirty-eight marathons.”


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