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Understanding China's Belt & Road Initiative: Motivation, framework and assessment


  • Huang, Yiping


The Belt & Road Initiative is China's greatest international economic ambition, aiming at stimulating economic development in a vast region covering sub regions in Asia, Europe and Africa, which accounts for 64% of world population and 30% of world GDP. The Initiative is devised to reconfigure China's external sector in order to continue its strong growth. While infrastructure development plays a central role, the Belt & Road Initiative is a comprehensive one, including also policy dialogue, unimpeded trade, financial support and people-to-people exchange. It is too early to assess the impact of this ambitious Initiative. It certainly has the potential of turning the underdeveloped “Belt & Road” region into a new vibrant economic pillar and contributing to economic policy thinking by incorporating successful experiences of emerging market economies. However, the Initiative also faces very high barriers, including lack of central coordination mechanism, potential clash of different political regimes and beliefs and financial viability of cross-border projects.

Suggested Citation

  • Huang, Yiping, 2016. "Understanding China's Belt & Road Initiative: Motivation, framework and assessment," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 314-321.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:40:y:2016:i:c:p:314-321
    DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2016.07.007

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. World Bank & P.R.C. Development Research Center of the State Council, 2012. "China 2030 : Building a Modern, Harmonious, and Creative High-Income Society [pre-publication version]," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6057, October.
    2. Dwight H. Perkins, 2015. "Understanding the Slowing Growth Rate of the People's Republic of China," Asian Development Review, MIT Press, vol. 32(1), pages 1-30, March.
    3. Justin Yifu Lin & Fan Zhang, 2015. "Sustaining Growth of the People's Republic of China," Asian Development Review, MIT Press, vol. 32(1), pages 31-48, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:1:p:278-:d:128110 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:scm:ecofrm:v:6:y:2017:i:2:p:1 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:appene:v:213:y:2018:i:c:p:112-122 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:3:p:668-:d:134218 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    China; Belt & road initiative; Infrastructure; International economic system;

    JEL classification:

    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East


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