SPAR – What is the Belt and Road Initiative – BRI ?

Initiated in 2013 by China’s President Xi Jinping, it’s a multi-dimensional mega-vision to connect countries in terms of infrastructure, trade, and communication as well as education and culture. As of August 2023, 215 cooperation documents have been signed with 155 countries and 32 international organisations.

It is probably the largest-ever vision and cooperative project. In contrast to the present world order, the BRI is conceptualized to be horizontal, inclusive and cooperative rather than vertical, confrontational and exploitative.

And it has no military dimensions.

In my judgment, it is, therefore, a project with a hitherto unknown potential for reducing the risks of war and building global peace and understanding.

In 2013, China committed no less than US$ 1000 billion, which is indicative of China’s priorities; the project is also incorporated into the constitution of the Chinese Communist Party. Its participating states make up about 75% of humanity and over half of the world’s GDP.

In other words, a grand vision for humanity’s future.

Naturally, it’s inspired by the ancient Silk Road (130 BCE-1453 CE), which you may read about here. And here is one central official introduction with thematic menus. Below, please find a series of links to documents about this unique project.

While the – ageing – West hasn’t paid much attention to BRI, there are countless books, articles and videos about it. I am happy to refer you also to a special section on The Transnational, the peace research thinktank, I am heading – China & Silk – with about 150 articles and videos, being permanently expanded. And much more here on Wikipedia.

Global Times
BRI Focus on its 10th Anniversary

The New Silk Road Connecting the World

Boston University Global Development Policy Center
Ten Years of the Belt and Road: Reflections and Recent Trends

BRIX, Sweden
The Belt and Road Initiative in Sweden, BRIX

Wali Zahid
What China signals through Belt and Road (2021)

Xinhua News Agency
The Xinhua Silk Road Information Service

China Economic Information Service and the State Information Center, under the guidance of China’s National Development and Reform Commission and Xinhua News Agency
The Belt And Road Portal

BRI statistics and facts

List of projects of the Belt And Road Initiative

Dezan Shira & Associate
Silk Road Briefing

CGTN – 4 minutes:

As you’ll see, there are many illustrations and they are a rather different. So, there is quite some fluidity – dynamics – flexibility. The only BRI constant is – change:


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