On May 14-15, China will host the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRI) in Beijing. This is the first international venue in which Chinese leadership will discuss their vision for broader regional cooperation and economic connectivity alongside foreign counterparts. Carnegie experts are available to analyze the expectations and implication of both the forum and the grand initiative. 

To request an interview, please contact Wanyi Du at wdu@ceip.org.

“The United States needs a strategy for constructive engagement with the Belt and Road Initiative that avoids repeating the mistakes it made in responding to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). By actively shunning the development bank, the United States isolated itself from the international community and weakened its own leverage to shape the new body. While Washington is right to view the initiative through a strategic lens, its attitude should not be hostile. Washington needs to find ways to engage in the BRI in collaboration with China and other nations where our interests overlap. At the same time, China should find ways to more proactively engage with the U.S. and other developed nations on its objectives for the BRI. If not, China risks these nations projecting their worst fears onto the initiative.”

Paul Haenle, Director, Carnegie–Tsinghua Center for Global Policy


“Amid the rise of anti-globalization sentiment worldwide, BRI is a concrete Chinese strategic initiative to promote globalization. The central principles are collaboration, building, and result-sharing (共商、共建、共享), in which the interests of China are tightly tied to that of its BRI partners. Through the BRI in May, China is demonstrating that it is a responsible global player in the international society.”

Shi Zhiqin, Resident Scholar, Carnegie–Tsinghua Center for Global Policy​


“The one big problem in assessing the BRI is that we don’t have any criteria for success. Unlike other documents produced by the National Development Reform Commission, the top planning agency in the Chinese system, all BRI-related documents lack exact figures and detailed timeframes. This allows Beijing to claim that any project along five broad areas of the Belt and Road is a testament to successful implementation of the initiative— despite the fact that many of these projects were launched long before the BRI announcement in September 2013. Economic results of signature vehicles for BRI promotion also remain quite modest—take the mammoth Silk Road Fund, which presides over $40 billion funds but has managed to complete only half a dozen deals, or heavily subsidized trains from China to Europe. Still, the outside world remains fascinated by BRI soundbites, and many leaders are flocking to Beijing to celebrate BRIs quasi-anniversary. They perfectly realize that Beijing’s economic footprint in different parts of the world is growing regardless of BRIs success or failure, and want to tap into China’s growth story.”

Alexander Gabuev, Senior Associate, Carnegie Moscow


“As China celebrates its Belt and Road Initiative this week, India will be among the few major nations not joining the party. Despite Delhi’s deep interest in promoting connectivity within and across its neighborhood and Beijing’s eagerness to have high level Indian participation at the forum, questions of territorial sovereignty have kept India out of the forum. Delhi has strongly objected to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, a major component of the BRI, which runs through a part of Jammu and Kashmir that Islamabad controls but is claimed by India. Territorial disputes and China’s deepening strategic partnership with Pakistan have always complicated Delhi’s ties with Beijing, but in recent years have pushed them to new lows.”

C. Raja Mohan, Director, Carnegie India


“I wish the forum great success. Expanded infrastructure should bring employment and higher living standards to many people who have missed out. The next stages, I hope, will include harmonization with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank standards to raise efficiency and curb abuses. The BRI and AIIB should be part of the 21st century Bretton Woods system.”

Douglas H. Paal, Vice President for Studies and Director, Asia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


“China has taken on an enormous task in attempting to promote Eurasian development through the Belt and Road Initiative. If successful, this undertaking could go a long way toward raising living standards and enhancing stability across much of Eurasia. All relevant countries and private entities should get behind this effort to the extent possible and shape its evolution.”

Michael D. Swaine, Senior Fellow, Asia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


“BRI is China’s revival of a 2,000-year-old tradition of promoting connectivity and integration of Asia with Europe via the Middle East and Central Asia. It offers great opportunities but also many risks that need to be managed.”

Yukon Huang, Senior Fellow, Asia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


“The BRI will usher in China’s moment of globalization to join hands to build a community of common human destiny.”

Zhao Kejin, Resident Scholar, Carnegie–Tsinghua Center for Global Policy