Global Trends in National Perceptions of the Belt and Road Initiative

Delivering sustainable economic growth
Posted Apr 28, 2023 | Bruegel

In this paper by Bruegel, Alicia Garcia-Herrero, Robin Schindowski et al analyse the sentiment towards China’s Belt and Road Initiative across the world, using the GDELT open-access dataset.  Their main finding is that perceptions of the initiative deteriorated significantly in many countries from 2017 to 2022. Critics are pointing out that projects initiated under the BRI umbrella lack adequate regulatory frameworks and market coordination mechanisms. In sub-Saharan Africa, the BRI’s image remains positive, notwithstanding increases in debts to China, much of which now requires restructuring. Sentiment is also strongly positive in Central Asia but has decreased significantly in North America and Europe. Some differences are only visible at the country level, and all regions – except Central Asia – have at least one country with strongly negative sentiment. 04_0.pdf


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