1st Edition

The Geopolitics of China's Belt and Road Initiative

By Theodor Tudoroiu Copyright 2024

    This book argues that China’s Belt and Road Initiative should be seen more as a geopolitical project and less as a global economic project, with China aiming to bring about a new Chinese-led international order. It contends that China’s international approach has two personas – an aggressive one, focusing on a nineteenth century-style territorial empire, which is applied to Taiwan and the seas adjacent to China; and a new-style persona, based on relationship building with the political elites of countries in the Global South, relying on large scale infrastructure projects to help secure the elites in power, a process often leading to lower democratic participation and weaker governance structures. It also shows how this relationship building with elites leads to an acceptance of Chinese norms and to changes in states’ geopolitical preferences and foreign policies to align them with China’s geopolitical interests, with states thereby joining China’s emerging international order. Overall, the book emphasizes that this new-style, non-territorial “empire” building based on relationships is a major new development in international relations, not fully recognized and accounted for by international relations experts and theorists.

    Chapter 1       Introduction


    Chapter 2       International Order, Grand Strategy, and China


    Chapter 3       Geopolitics


    Chapter 4       Normative Power, Relationality, Chinese Socialization, and an Alternative Geopolitical Approach


    Chapter 5       The Belt and Road Initiative


    Chapter 6       Sri Lanka and the Geopolitics of the Belt and Road Initiative


    Chapter 7       The BRI and the Sino-American Confrontation




    Theodor Tudoroiu is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Political Science of the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine campus, Trinidad and Tobago.