Belt&Road and Islamic World: The Pathway of Civilizations Converging

Over the past decade, the world has witnessed rapid changes and transformations, largely to humanity’s benefit. Thirty years ago, Atlantic imperialism, led by the United States, proclaimed through neoliberal globalization that it would flatten nation-states. In the current era, as hegemonism wanes, nation-states are increasingly asserting themselves. The thesis of neoliberal globalization claimed that we had reached the “end of history,” where borders would disappear, and the world would become a global village dominated by Atlantic imperialists. However, anticipating resistance to this view, hegemonism introduced the “Clash of Civilizations” thesis to suppress opposition to the “global village.” This theory posited a reactionary resistance from “Eastern civilizations,” primarily Islam, against the “Western civilization” poised to usher humanity into its “golden age.” This framework has ideologically supported imperialist interventions globally, especially those justified by “human rights violations,” for the last three decades. Today, Atlantic imperialism frames global alignments as “Free Western civilization” versus the “authoritarian, nationalist” Eastern civilizations of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The ongoing violence in Palestine by Israel exemplifies the stance of “Western civilization.” The source of Islamophobia, racism, and all forms of discrimination lies here.

Conversely, the agenda of developing states combating hegemonism focuses on fostering harmony and integration among civilizations, not conflict. The driving force behind increasing cooperation between Iran, Russia, China, and Latin America; between Russia and China and the Arab world, Africa, and Islamic countries; and between Turkey, Russia, China, and Latin America is undoubtedly a collective stance against hegemonism. This cooperation increasingly rests on shared values beyond mere mutual gain. Among these developing states, there is a spirit of integration, sharing, and mutual respect. The developing world is uniting around independence, public welfare, and humanitarian values.

A prime example of inter-civilizational cooperation today is the evolving relationship between Islamic countries and China over the last 40 years. This relationship has strengthened even as the US has led global campaigns accusing China of committing “genocide against its Muslim population,” attempting to paint China as an “enemy of Islam.” Since the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013, the significance of these relationships has grown, encompassing massive economic investments. According to 2022 official data, investments in Islamic countries under the BRI exceed $400 billion. More crucially, the BRI, founded on joint development, is shifting the balance of world politics. Islamic countries, previously constrained by the Atlantic system’s status quo into internal sectarian and ethnic conflicts, are breaking free from this bind.
The historic Silk Road facilitated cooperation, mutual learning, and tolerance among diverse cultures, propelling the advancement of world civilization. The 21st-century Silk Road, embodied by the Belt and Road Initiative, is forging pathways for the convergence and eventual creation of a new civilization.




The Global Development Initiative, Global Security Initiative, and Global Civilization Initiative are the three important initiatives proposed by China in 2021, 2022, and 2023, respectively. These initiatives focus on the three aspects of development, security and civilization, with the fundamental purpose of building a community with a shared future for mankind, and provide Chinese solutions to global challenges. The Global Civilization Initiative is flourishing the garden of world civilizations; as for the Global Development Initiative, the Belt and Road Initiative has become an engine for promoting the common development of all countries; as for the Global Security Initiative, the Saudi-Iran reconciliation is an important attempt by China to build a security governance system in the Middle East. However, it should be noted that although the Middle East has become increasingly important to China, this series of initiatives does not mean that China will engage in strategic competition with the United States in the Middle East. In a word, China will not fall into the trap of great power competition.

Keywords: Global Development initiative, Global Security Initiative, Global Civilization Initiative, China-Middle East Relations.


“Pakistan looks favorably on China’s relations with the Islamic world and Pakistan itself plays a key role in promoting China’s relations with the Islamic world. China has a strong relationship with Muslim countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, supporting their quest for sovereignty and independence. China provides a strategic option for Muslim countries and they do not have to depend on the West or the United States. So China, especially today, is a very important player and offers an alternative worldview, an alternative strategic path to development. In the ten years since the BRI was launched, China has invested over 1 trillion dollars in over 3,000 different projects in different countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. This is a very large number. The BRI is not just about developing trade and investment, it is also an alternative worldview. China today is the leading trading partner, especially for countries in the Global South. Unlike some other countries, such as the United States, China, as a developing country, is building relationships on the basis of common heritage and history and a shared pursuit of a better tomorrow. In this context, China, with its diplomatic power and economic relations, can stabilize our region, especially Afghanistan, along with Central Asia, Türkiye, Iran and Pakistan. There is absolutely no contradiction, no conflict between the Chinese system, worldview and ideology and what Muslims advocate and practice. It is all about connectivity, about cooperation. It is all about working together for a better tomorrow without masters and oppressed.”


Full text of Chinese President Xi Jinping's keynote speech via video link at the CCP’s World Political Parties High-Level Dialogue Meeting on March 15, 2023, where he first put forward the Global Civilization Initiative.


This paper explores Türkiye’s responses, motivations, and challenges in the process of combating Islamophobia. From the Turkish perspective, Islamophobia has exerted historical and contemporary negative impacts on Türkiye. In response, Türkiye takes steps from two dimensions of reality and perception. At the practical level, Türkiye employs a combination of bilateral diplomacy, multilateral diplomacy, and foreign propaganda. At the spiritual level, Türkiye emphasizes its national image and soft power. As a Muslim country, Türkiye’s efforts to combat Islamophobia highlight the factors of Türkiye’s national interests, the moderate Islamic attributes of the Justice and Development Party, and the historical and cultural traditions of Islam. In the fight against Islamophobia, Türkiye also faces numerous challenges, including the intricacy of Islamophobia, the entrenchment of stereotypes, the obstruction from other Islamic countries, and the rise of right-wing populism in Europe. The Global Civilization Initiative proposed by China may become another potential alternative to addressing Islamophobia.

Keywords: civilization, clash of civilizations, Global Civilization Initiative, Islamophobia, Türkiye.


Chinese engagement in Africa brought mixed academic commentaries regarding the aims and objectives pursued by this country. Whether referred to as a search for China’s empowerment at the expense of African development or as a reliable partnership to enhance the status of the non- Western world, China’s immersion in Africa appear unconventional, and innovative compared to the designs pursued by other major powers in their dealings with the African continent. In China’s vision, Africa occupies a special place for historic reasons, identity considerations, and a common destiny, beyond sharing strategic and economic interests. Beijing has become in the last decade, Africa’s most important partner in terms of political relationships, direct investments, trade exchanges and financial assistance. China is trying to adapt to the world’s new underpinnings and seems to take into consideration the changing priorities of Africa in the context of the looming East /West cold war, induced mainly, by the Ukraine-Russia war.

Keywords: Africa, China, cooperation, Ukraine-Russia war, world mutations.


Since its inception, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has achieved fruitful results, but it has also been challenged by economic cold war thinking. The mutually beneficial purpose and participatory content of the BRI have been misinterpreted by the economic Cold-War thinking. This challenge has its roots in the economic interests of international monopoly capital, as well as in biases caused by cultural and ideological differences, and in the systemic gaps caused by the vastly different paths of development. To promote the construction of the BRI in response to the challenges of economic Cold-War thinking, one should strengthen the influence of international communication, make the “cake” of common interests bigger and better, and accelerate the BRI construction. Equally important is to improve the mutual benefit mechanism of the BRI. However, with regard to all the deliberate misinterpretations and provocations of the economic Cold-War mentality, it is also necessary to be bold enough to fight and good enough to engage in dialogue, so as to meet challenges and resolve conflicts.

Keywords: Belt and Road, Cold War thinking, Economic Challenges, China’s Counter Strategies, globalization.


“China’s progress is noteworthy. It serves not only as a model for China itself but for the entire world. The efforts made by China to enhance the livelihoods of its people and reach out to them could be seen as lessons for other nations. It is important for the world to understand that China does not aspire to colonize or confront other nations. Instead, China seeks a peaceful world where every country can progress through initiatives like the BRI, sharing in mutual development. This approach creates a win-win situation for all involved. looking at the BRI over the past decade, it’s remarkable that it has encountered no major political, economic, or territorial disputes. This initiative has proven to be a successful collaboration not only for China but for all participating nations, making it a standout project in the 75 years following World War II, during which the global political and social order was fundamentally reshaped. In these last 75 years, the BRI stands out as the most effective initiative. China has invested over $1 trillion, but notably, it has not compelled any country to join; rather, more than 150 countries today voluntarily collaborate with China through this initiative. They participate because they choose to, attracted by the mutual benefits rather than coerced participation. The extensive development across these countries—whether in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, or Central Asia—over the last decade due to this initiative is unparalleled.”