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Asia Insight: China's Belt and Road Initiative


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Asia Insight is a new podcast series from NBR. We interview top Asia experts about key issues affecting the Indo-Pacific region, with a focus on implications for U.S. policy and businesses.

This episode presents a discussion of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), described by our guest as Xi Jinping’s “organizing foreign policy concept.” That guest is Nadège Rolland, Senior Fellow for Political and Security Affairs at NBR. Nadège walks us through the significance of BRI, what it means for the region, and how U.S. officials and businesses should respond to the initiative. Listen to the episode below.



Time Stamps

Q1 [2:00]: How did you “pick up the scent” that BRI was going to be so important before many China-watchers in the West did?

Q2 [6:00]: Did your reliance on Chinese-language, original sources indicate that Beijing didn’t want Western observers to notice BRI?

Q3 [8:30]: Why is China pursuing the Belt and Road?

Q4 [11:38]: How do regional states perceive BRI?

Q5 [13:00]: How does the United States perceive BRI?

Q6 [16:15]: Is there a difference between how developed and developing countries respond to the Belt and Road?

Q7 [18:50]: What are China’s challenges in implementing BRI?

Q8 [22:15]: What are your future research plans?

Q9 [24:30]: How should the U.S. government address BRI?

Q10 [31:20] How should businesses think about engaging in China?

Lightning Round [34:10]:
1. What grade would you give President Xi so far on implementation of BRI?
2. What book on China have you recommended to others the most?
3. What would you tell President Xi if you met him?
4. By understanding BRI, have you achieved a mind-meld with President Xi?



Asia Insight editor is Tim White. Theme music is by Laura Schwartz of Bellwether Bayou.


Nadège Rolland is a Senior Fellow for Political and Security Affairs at NBR. Prior to joining NBR, Ms. Rolland served as senior adviser to the French Ministry of Defense and was responsible for analyzing diplomatic, military, and domestic political developments across Eurasia. Follow Nadège on Twitter: @rollandnadege



In China's Eurasian Century? Political and Strategic Implications of the Belt and Road Initiative Nadège Rolland examines the drivers and goals of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and argues that the initiative reflects Beijing’s desire to shape Eurasia according to its own worldview and unique characteristics.