China’s Belt and Road Initiative

A Transnational Development Model?


  • Suresh T. Gopalan Centre for Political Studies, School of Social Sciences - Jawaharlal Nehru University



Belt and Road, Development


The  Belt and  Road initiative announced by China’s President Xi Jinping has introduced a novel economic model that seeks to shift the site and purpose of development outside China. The initiative proposes the construction of a series of transportation platforms along the ancient Silk Road that connected China with Central Asia, Europe and West Asia.  This outward thrust of investment and capital construction envisages significant reduction of distance and in spatial barriers between and China and the world that will form the road traversing different geographies of nations, territories and cultures. I call China’s Belt and  Road initiative a transnational development model as it aims to coordinate factors of economic circulation across different national spaces controlled by different governance models, legal norms and political contingencies. Centuries ago when the original trading route of the Chinese Silk Road was formed, this overland route was a contiguous territory where boundaries remained too fluid for any authorities to impose its will. But today the Silk Road is an imagined geography as this route is controlled by sovereign national territorial states having effective authority structures over each of these units. The initiative then requires China to entail a broad-based economic coordination with a diverse governance systems. My paper will explore how the transnational scope of the  Belt and  Road initiative come to negotiate diverse authority structures in particular national contexts.


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Biografia do Autor

Suresh T. Gopalan, Centre for Political Studies, School of Social Sciences - Jawaharlal Nehru University

Centre for Political Studies, School of Social Sciences - Jawaharlal Nehru University


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