This article seeks to contribute to ongoing debates about the causes and consequences of Chinaâ€™s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It argues via a neoclassical realist analysis that BRI can be seen as the product of the convergence of Aussenpolitik (foreign policy) and Innenpolitik (domestic politics) factors in Chinaâ€™s grand strategy, specifically enduring desires to balance against American primacy and to secure Chinaâ€™s frontier regions such as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). The article concludes that the intersection of these objectives with the geopolitical logic of BRI (i.e. combating American primacy in the maritime domain of the Indo-Pacific through China-led Eurasian integration) provides an explanation for the timing and intensity of Beijingâ€™s imposition of a pervasive â€˜security stateâ€™ in Xinjiang.
|Journal||Journal of Contemporary China|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|