The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the WorldPeter FrankopanBloomsbury The Future is Asian: Global Order in the Twenty-First CenturyParag KhannaSimon & Schuster Belt and Road: A Chinese World OrderBruno MaçãesHurst “A whole new world”, the street urchin Aladdin promises Princess Jasmine in a song from the 1992 hit film. “A new fantastic point of view … a whole new world, a dazzling place I never knew.” And sure enough, the world that is ultimately revealed conforms to a comforting Disney narrative that upholds the US soft power tropes of freedom and social mobility. Love triumphs, the urchin marries the princess and a repressive, authoritarian sultan sees the light. Just as that Oscar-winning song was released, a whole new post-cold war world was being born. The fall of the Soviet Union appeared to show that authoritarian powers perish through stultifying oppression and that animal spirits must be free to be productive. The US world view, underpinned by liberal democracy a...

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