MRI Journal Issue 4 online version is already released. The topics of this issue are about "The Beltand Road Initiative: Between Pitfalls and Promises a Path Toward a New Humanism". 

When we look at the sheer size and multiple dimensions of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its related projects we may often wonder how it is possible to come to grips with such a complex beast: Six new land corridors of the “Road” and the Maritime “Belt” throughout the seas, with new spaces around the globe getting more and more connected with each other. Beyond the vast expanses, what could turn out truly as innovative when the BRI was launched in 2013 is the call for reciprocity, peace and cooperation, mutual learning and mutual benefit within it. The most recent BRI summit which took place in Beijing in April 2019 insisted on the aspect of “openness and inclusiveness,” described in Mike Thompson’s opening essay, as a source of inspiration despite growing criticism from a number of countries related to a supposed “debt trap diplomacy” and an overreliance on environmentally harmful projects. Looking beyond such criticisms, our view of the BRI will focus on its spiritual nature or perhaps better the spiritual promise of the BRI. As Yang asks: what are the conditions for fulfilling the promise of a genuine “openness and inclusiveness”? He points toward a common ground of key values and institutions reflecting the Confucian principle of reciprocity (in Chinese “shu”, 恕), a principle that is at the core of mutually beneficial business relationships and technology transfers, which should benefit all stakeholders. So far 125 countries have signed 173 agreements with China in the period between 2013 through 2018, with a total Chinese investment into BRI projects of about $90 billion (People’s Daily Online, 2019).

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