Source: China.org.cn Published: 2019-4-22
"While the internal forces of global connectivity hold the key to the facilitation of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the continuity of the BRI should be well recognized," a scholar noted during a lecture in Beijing last Friday.
Held by the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies of Renmin University, the lecture laid out a historical foundation of the continuity of the initiative. It was based on research by Fu Mengzi, deputy dean of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations.
The continuity of the BRI focuses on its impact on improving the process of global connectivity, which is different from the concept of sustainability. Fu's research is based on the historical analysis of the reasons behind the setbacks of the Silk Road faced by different dynasties, as well as the theoretical framework of geopolitics. It aims to provide possible suggestions on the implementation of the BRI, notably in the aspects of settling disputes and promoting holism.
Regarding the continuity of the BRI, Fu further explains that the spillover effect of China's economic aggregate and trade volume can be the internal force driving the development of the BRI. As 40 years of reform and opening up have enabled China to integrate into the global industrial chain and value chain, China's increasing innovation capacity and performance are also changing the role it plays in the international division of labor.
In this sense, the industrial relocation to regions with abundant natural resources, i.e. countries along the routes of the BRI, addresses the need of China's "going global" policy and contributes to creating a more favorable environment for external cooperation.
As for the underlying difficulties affecting the continuity of the BRI, Fu notes that the mounting uncertainties and destabilizing factors worldwide could be a major concern. While the economic risks can be assessed, those of a more political nature are unpredictable. These would include disputes over territorial sovereignty, concerns over substitute freight routes, and restrictions on financing and investment.
At the end of the lecture, a total of 10 strategies in the fields of politics, economy and legislation were formulated which aims to provide a sound theoretical basis on the BRI's continuity as well as its impact on global connectivity. In view of the upcoming 2nd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing later this April, Fu's research will not only contribute to the depth of the academic research of this Initiative, but also to the breadth of the projects under the BRI.