The Belt and Road Initiative: China's New Grand Strategy?

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    In 2013, Chinese president Xi Jinping unveiled major components of what has since become known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). During an address to Nazarbayev University in the Kazakh capital, Astana, on September 7, Xi announced China's desire to "jointly build an 'economic belt' along the Silk Road" with Central Asian partners to "deepen cooperation and expand development in the Euro-Asia region."1 A month later, in an address to Indonesia's parliament, China's president encouraged Southeast Asian states to work with China to develop the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. Subsequently, China has put more "meat" on the bones of such aspirational statements through the identification of six core "economic corridors" linking the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road; the establishment of supporting multilateral financial institutions, such as the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB) and Silk Road Fund (SRF); and the publication of an official "blueprint" by the National Development and Reform Commission for the implementation of BRI.2 Beijing has also backed the initiative with a considerable financial commitment, earmarking $40 billion for the Silk Road Economic Belt, $25 billion for the Maritime Silk Road, $50 billion for the AIIB, and $40 billion for the SRF.3
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)71-79
    JournalAsia Policy
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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