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Grand Narrative, Fragmented Reality: The Belt and Road Initiative in Heilongjiang Province

posted on Sep 21, 2021
By Gabriel Wagner - Most analysts agree that China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is set to become a defining feature of the global economy of the 21st century. However, there is wide-ranging debate about how to understand the BRI. Is it a top-down “grand strategy” directed by Xi Jinping, or just an umbrella term for a wide range of fragmented individual projects? This paper examines the “Three Bridges One Island” (三桥一岛) initiative in Heilongjiang province to shed light on this question. The findings suggest that official policy narratives about the BRI are indeed dictated...

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