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Understanding the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

An Initiative to Make China Great Again?

In: European Journal of East Asian Studies
Author:
Y.-Y. Chang
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Abstract

This article re-examines China’s proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) taking into account historical and philosophical narratives. It assumes that the BRI has crucial strategic implications; in particular, that it is not as altruistic as claimed but rather a self-interested proposal aiming to restore China’s grandeur and influence. The Chinese Dream (中國夢) and the concept of Tianxia (天下), ‘all under heaven’) are discussed to illustrate how the initiative is ‘marketed’. It ends with an interpretation of the impacts that the BRI might have on other parts of the world.

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