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Theorizing the Construction of the Belt and Road Initiative

Authors: Weidong Liu*, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Topics: China, Economic Geography
Keywords: Belt and Road Initiative, institutional and cultural difference, financing structure, territorial embeddedness
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The construction of the Belt and Road initiative (BRI) raises new subjects for academic research, which demands in-depth case studies of BRI projects. Research in the field of economic geography used to focus on outward foreign direct investment (FDI) of Chinese firms, but BRI construction is much broader in its scope, consisting of not only FDI projects but also China-financed projects and emerging mixed projects. Existing case studies have shown that significant cultural and institutional difference between China and host country is the factor that tends to be ignored by Chinese firms when “going global”. Thus, revisiting the institutional and cultural turn in economic geography and employing its research framework to analyze BRI projects and summarize their construction models may contribute to the development of both economic geography and BRI.

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