Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)
This book assesses China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the reactions to this strategy in a number of countries. Starting from the 2015 policy document outlining the vision for and implementation of the BRI, the author argues that it is underpinned by a logic of geologistics, a term used to indicate the provision of energy, telecoms, and transport through the initiative's economic corridors. The choice of this analytical framework is meant to match China's emphasis on connectivity and cross-border ties. The author acknowledges that the BRI was initially conceived by the Chinese government as a potential solution to inequalities between various Chinese provinces and cities – in other words, a spatial fix for domestic problems. Thus, starting from the motivations that first propelled narratives around the ancient Silk Road, the book takes us through contemporary developments as motivated by a geologistics policy. The third part of the book deals with the 35 economic corridors that form this complex network as distributed along the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road. First, the author analyzes the land bridges that connect China to several European cities via Russia and Turkey, as well as secondary corridors including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor. Second, the author explores the sea routes that connect China with Africa, Antarctica, the South Pacific, the Arctic, and Latin America. Simultaneously, the empirical material also gives us glimpses into the reactions of countries such as Japan, India, Europe, the US, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Russia, and more. Overall, this book demonstrates the importance and reach of China's BRI as it not only affects the country itself, but also impacts on contemporary global transport and economic dynamics.