Vince Dhimos answered a question at Quora.
HOW DID THE ONE ROAD ONE BELT POLICY FAIL BE IRRITATING ALL THE NEARBY NATIONS INCLUDING RUSSIA?
Vince Dhimos, Editor-in-Chief at New Silk Strategies (2016-present)
In a world where the US president has recently brazenly announced that he intends to steal oil belonging to the downtrodden and war-ravaged Syrian people, where US bombs have killed thousands of unarmed civilians from Afghanistan to Libya to Iraq, where the US openly supports violent demonstrations in Hong Kong where people are being attacked by demonstrators using lethal weapons, it is absolutely amazing that a Westerner would focus on supposed “irritation” caused by the OBOR project, which, unlike grand projects of the US and NATO, is peaceful and non-military and has killed no one. But perhaps the source of the irritation in the West is that no genocide has occurred as a result of the OBOR?
I did a search using the search terms
one-belt one-road irritates russia
and found no hints that the project has irritated a single Russian. The only irritant to India is that the route runs through Kashmir, but if India can find a way to oust the occupier, Pakistan, it can have that section of the route for itself. Indonesia was initially irritated because of China’s growing clout, but lately the country’s leadership has been pleased to have the project revitalize its dilapidated infrastructure. Beyond the sound and fury, what country could stay mad at a project that eases trade and promises to boost the income of all who are affected by the project? As the Lord said to Saul on the road to Damascus, it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. For comparison, has NATO launched any projects that actually promote the economies of its member nations?
Perhaps you are confused with the fact that Russia was initially not much involved in the project, for lack of funds. Well, that has changed. Russia and China are now cooperating in the Arctic leg of the OBOR and have created an Arctic route that cuts thousands of miles off the old Asia-Europe shipping route via the Suez Canal. Of course, this savings in fuel and contribution to reduced green house gases is, as we could expect, sneered at by cantankerous residents of the Western world, where numerous countries, with the usual grovelling obedience to the professional Washington Russophobes and Sinophobes, refuse to use the new route, preferring to pollute and overpay as before.
As for the so-called “failure,” the project continues unabated, and in fact, several nations have shown a pecuniary interest in building or expanding ports to accommodate the freight arriving from Asia or headed there via the new Arctic route. These include many states that have complained of the popular Western fiction of “Russian aggression.”
Funny how the prospect of mammon can change hearts and minds.