Professor Emeritus John Mathews has just had a paper on The Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) published in The Asia-Pacific Journal. This article asserts that the BRI is creating a community of states that have common interests in the building of infrastructure and in setting rules and standards for international trade within the BRI area. Through this process, the BRI is creating the world’s largest trade and investment area, and one with clear security implications as China’s geopolitical profile rises. The multiple projects of the BRI utilize Chinese finance provided primarily by state development banks in an extension overseas of the industrial development model fashioned at home. From the perspective of China’s own debt-fuelled economic development strategy and the mutual goals tying China to dozens of industrializing countries in a new arc of Chinese economic and financial diplomacy, the article scrutinizes critical commentaries on the possibility of countries entering “debt traps” as they sign up for BRI projects. This article also explores the wider significance of BRI, including its role in promoting the internationalization of China’s currency and reinforcing China’s industrial and energy strategies abroad.
Read the article in The Asia-Pacific Journal at https://apjjf.org/2019/01/Mathews.html