Investments Along China’s Belt and Road Initiative

This interactive contains a correction.

See also: Understanding China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Opportunities and Risks by Ariella Viehe, Aarthi Gunasekaran, and Hanna Downing

Under the new Belt and Road initiative first announced in 2013, China is investing in energy, transportation, communication, and industrial projects across Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. In 2015, the initiative became the centerpiece of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s development policy.

Drawing on both open source and field research, the Center for American Progress tracked Chinese Belt and Road projects to identify the types of projects that the initiative is pursuing and the key countries where it has been able to invest, as well as to understand how the Belt and Road is evolving and adapting to expand in the future. CAP identified projects by three criteria as of September 1, 2015: The projects were publicly proposed by China, were accepted by the host country as part of the Belt and Road initiative, and had designated funding from a Chinese company or the Chinese government. CAP found four major takeaways about these projects:

  1. They create alternative trade routes for China to diversify and insulate its economic access.
  2. They promote the domestic economic viability of Chinese trade partners, such as Pakistan and Indonesia.
  3. They are clustered geographically in countries that already have active bilateral relationships with China and have a clear articulation of their infrastructure needs.
  4. They are supported by both Chinese companies and the Chinese government, which work in tandem to achieve the overall goals of the Belt and Road initiative.

Together, these four aspects define how the Belt and Road initiative is playing out in reality. The interactive below offers a picture of the location, type, and size of investment made by China in the Belt and Road initiative.

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Ariella Viehe is a CFR Fellow with the National Security and International Policy team at the Center for American Progress. Aarthi Gunasekaran is a Research Assistant at the Center. Vivian Wang is an intern at the Center. Stefanie Merchant is a former intern at the Center.

The views expressed in this article by Ariella Viehe are her own and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. government.

*Correction, September 25, 2015: This interactive has been updated to better define the type of finance projects in which China is investing in Indonesia, Tajikistan, Nepal, and Malaysia.