China’s belt and road initiative revisited: Challenges and ways forward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Compared with other Chinese-proposed multilateral institutions such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is not yet fully institutionalized. Still, it has been enthusiastically welcomed by many Asian and African countries, though less so by Western ones, Japan, and Russia. This is not only because of the expected economic benefits being Asian-and African-centric, but perhaps more importantly, because of the BRI having potential to be an exceptional Eastern model that may become universal. Up to the recent times, the flow of religions, doctrines, ideas and ideologies has mainly been from the West to the East, often accompanied by Western colonialism. Now, if the BRI is successfully implemented, for the first time in history a model of Eastern origin may affect the West and the rest of world. Unlike national liberation movements which had achieved political but not economic independence, China’s BRI could facilitate an international liberation movement that helps Asian and African countries to achieve growth and development, and thereby become economically independent as well. The innovation of the BRI does not only lie in its direction of influence (from the East to the West), but also in that it will be accomplished in Chinese rather than Western ways. That, more than particular economic benefits, explains the BRI’s attraction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-53
Number of pages15
JournalChina Quarterly of International Strategic Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 World Century Publishing Corporation and Shanghai Institutes for International Studies.


  • Belt and road initiative (BRI)
  • East-west flow
  • Model of development
  • Slogan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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