BRI Is All-Encompassing – Why This Is Important To Know
To begin with, it is important to recall that after the 19th Party Congress in October 2017, BRI found mention in the Communist Party’s Constitution. That lends the initiative certain political sanctity as long as Xi Jinping remains at the helm of China’s affairs.
Moreover, from Chinese foreign policy perspective, BRI is all encompassing. Officially, the initiative has five major priorities:
- policy coordination
- infrastructure connectivity
- trade and investment
- financial integration
- people-to-people connectivity
Among these, infrastructure is the most visible and perhaps controversial, given the debate over debt traps. Yet, it is the lesser-discussed dimensions of BRI that tend to structurally bind partner states to the Chinese economy. For instance, BRI entails increasing penetration of Chinese financial products in partner states, signing of preferential trade and tax agreements, media partnerships, educational partnerships, training of officials from partner states, creating alignments on governance norms, etc.