Edited by Maria A. Carrai, Jean-Christophe Defraigne and Jan Wouters
Chapter 3: The Belt and Road Initiative, the economic integration of the Eurasian continent and the international division of labour
The purpose of this chapter is to assess to what extent the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) can shift the balance of power within the world trading system by increasing connectivity across the Eurasian continent and its neighbours, thus transforming current international production networks (IPNs) and creating a higher degree of economic interdependency between China and the countries targeted by BRI schemes. This chapter will contextualize the amount of Chinese financial flows to the countries participating in the BRI. It will assess to what extent it is possible to claim that such flows have generated significant change in trade structures and IPNs that should strengthen China’s economic influence on the Eurasian continent. It will also attempt to see if Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) flows in the BRI region are likely to generate a geographical extension of production processes from Chinese firms across the Eurasian continent and transform the global division of labour in ways that will significantly impact BRI recipient countries.
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