EU-China relations

Policy brief

published: 25.04.2023

Global trends in countries’ perceptions of the Belt and Road Initiative

Alicia Garcia Herrero

Robin Schindowski

Drawing on media reports across the globe, we estimate how the image of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has evolved over time. Our main finding is that perceptions of the initiative deteriorated significantly in many geographies from 2017 to 2022. We also find significant inter- and intra-regional differences in the average sentiment towards China’s landmark project, as well as a much worse image of the initiative in countries which, until today, are not part of the BRI.

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About authors

Alicia Garcia Herrero

Chief Economist for Asia Pacific at Natixis, Senior Fellow at Bruegel, Non-resident Senior Follow at the East Asian Institute, Adjunct Professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Economist specialized in monetary and financial issues in emerging markets, banking crises and resolution strategies, financial development

Robin Schindowski

Research Assistant at Bruegel

Economist with a background in Chinese studies, specializing in China’s political economy and industrial organization