Launched in 2013, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is President Xi Jinping’s signature foreign policy initiative — a highly ambitious and extensive Chinese-led transcontinental development effort that would sew together infrastructure projects across more than 150 countries. The Belt and Road Initiative, estimated to comprise more than USD $1 trillion in Chinese investment, is arguably China's broadest economic engagement effort with the rest of the world — enhancing China’s connectivity through Southeast, South, Central, and West Asia; Africa; South America; and Europe.
While the BRI’s goal of delivering critical infrastructure across the globe is laudable, the initiative has been marred by controversies relating to debt, labor, the environment, governance, and local communities. The Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) embarked on a project that examines the BRI with the aim of setting forth actionable recommendations for how China and partner countries can advance the BRI objectives while dually ensuring that projects are of a high-quality and generate mutually beneficial and sustainable development outcomes. The project is headed by ASPI Vice President for International Security and Diplomacy Daniel Russel, with significant advisement from a global taskforce of experts in infrastructure finance, labor, environment, and other sectors.
Join the Asia Society for a conversation with Russel and other experts on what can be done to ensure that BRI projects are mutually beneficial and sustainable.
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