Begleiter, Andrea Villarnovo Lopez

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  • Publication
    The Dragon Stretches its Wings: Assessing the Geopolitical and Economic Implications of China’s Belt and Road Initiative in Pakistan and Kenya
    (2019-03-01) Begleiter, Andrea Villarnovo Lopez
    In 2013 China launched what is now known as the Belt and Road Initiative. This multinational, trillion-dollar development project seeks to improve connections by land and sea between China and its economic partners in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. Since its launch, many countries have warned that Belt and Road is a thinly-veiled plot for China to advance its geopolitical and military interests. This paper uses Pakistan and Kenya as case studies to assess claims that China is using “debt-trap diplomacy” to accomplish its foreign policy agenda. Using a qualitative and holistic approach, this paper finds that contrary to popular arguments among Western politicians and journalists, most recipient countries are eager to receive Belt and Road investment, and the Initiative has not shown itself to serve China’s military interests. Rather, this paper finds a growing global interest in following Beijing’s models for development and economic growth, despite warnings from the United States and other Western nations.