John C. Byrnes


Widely considered one of the largest and most ambitious infrastructure projects in human history, China’s Belt and Road Initiative [BRI] has made major headway since its inception in 2013. Although the BRI is formally adopted under the Chinese Communist Party Constitution as an initiative to secure “shared growth through discussion and collaboration,” the BRI is much more than these words convey. This Comment briefly introduces an overview of the BRI, including its components and early research on its effects on participating countries and regions. The Comment then conducts an in-depth analysis of four countries who have participated in the BRI with varying degrees of success. Next, the Comment discusses various international concerns surrounding the BRI, including possible debt diplomacy and military motivations. Finally, the Comment concludes that although the BRI should be applauded for its bold aspirations and developments, it should also be closely monitored by the international community to mitigate any deleterious effects incurred by BRI participants.



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