The Belt and Road Initiative
First announced by Chinese President Xi Jingping in September 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative (formerly ‘One Belt One Road’ (‘OBOR’; Yi Dai, Yi Lu; 一带一路)), now sets out China’s ambitious foreign policy objective for the 21st century. It embodies an integrated development framework consisting of a continental ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ and littoral ‘Maritime Silk Road’. Through the guidance of these economic corridors it provides a comprehensive framework of regional cooperation and development programs spanning from China to Western Europe. In totality BRI provides a vision encompassing over 60 countries with a combined population exceeding 4 billion people throughout Central Asia, the Indian Ocean Littoral and Europe. Under the initiative, Beijing takes the lead in the cooperative promotion of local and trans-continental infrastructure development; policy coordination; trade facilitation; and cultural exchange. As a comprehensive, multi-tiered project, BRI builds on a series of multilateral and bilateral funding schemes and state policy loans to both public and private sector partners. OBOR sets out an ambitious vision with profound economic, political and social potential impact.
BRI sets out a grand vision. However, in order to successfully realize a project of such scale and ambition, a framework for effective policy development and topical expertise is indispensable. The Stockholm China Center at ISDP provides this framework. Recognising that the world is increasingly multi-polar, ISDP considers international engagement the only viable strategy and policy direction. The Belt and Road Initiative provides Europe with a unique opportunity from which to take up this challenge and become part of inclusive solutions across Eurasia and the Indian Ocean littoral. As a hub for China-oriented research, with extensive networks throughout the Central- and East Asian political environment, the Stockholm China Center at ISDP is the portal preparing Sino-European relations for the The Belt and Road era.
Between Scandals & Elections: Sino-Austrian Relations in the Era of Sharp Power
Introduction Li Zhanshu, the Chairman of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) and the country’s top legislator, visited Austria in May 2019 during his tour through Europe. […]
Managing Connectivity Conflict: EU-India Cooperation and China’s Belt and Road Initiative
Executive Summary Connectivity initiatives are the latest geopolitical tool for advancing influence in international relations and diplomacy. Against the backdrop of an emerging connectivity conflict, the responsibility is on likeminded […]
Uzbekistan’s New Foreign Policy: Change and Continuity under New Leadership
Since Uzbekistan gained independence in 1991, its government has sought to maximize its national security and sovereignty by limiting dependence on foreign actors. This priority has continued under former President […]
The Great Rejuvenation? China’s Search for a New ‘Global Order’
Executive Summary This Asia Paper explores how China, a ‘partial’ global power, can set the agenda and determine the rules in a global order dominated by a declining yet unyielding […]
Time to Re-Engage
Whipsawed by years of foreign policy activism and then by general retreat, the United States is at risk of losing an opportunity to cement hard-won gains in Central Asia/Afghanistan. For some […]
China’s March West: Pitfalls and Challenges in Greater Central Asia
Central Asia constitutes a lynchpin for China’s Belt and Road ambitions. However, as Niklas Swanström and Pär Nyrén argue, Beijing also faces a number of challenges and pitfalls if Greater Central Asia […]