Chinese economy


published: 1.12.2023

How the BRI is shaping global trade and what to expect from the initiative in its second decade

Having celebrated the end of the first decade of his signature foreign policy at the Belt and Road Forum in October, Xi Jinping has wasted little time in doubling down on China’s global economic ambitions. On November 29th, a follow-up document was released in Beijing to map out the goals of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) for the coming ten years.

As the BRI marches on, MERICS Futures Fellow Clark Banach and MERICS Lead Analyst Jacob Gunter take a step back to look at one of the most critical aspects of the infrastructure initiative – its port projects and investments, and the impact they are having on trade flows. Having mapped out this central part of the BRI, they then look forward at what the continuing impact of the current infrastructure could mean moving forward, as well as what stakeholders should expect from an evolving BRI over the coming years.

This special edition of the tracker quite literally maps out China Inc’s footprint across global ports, breaking them down by involvement in projects, investment/ownership and operating contracts, all by whether it is Chinese SOEs or the Hong Kong-based Hutchinson Ports involved.