China’s Belt and Road Initiative “has now been active for ten years and has led to China engaging in $1.01 trillion worth of investment and construction in 148 countries around the world.” (statista) The initiative has been under debate ever since the beginning.
- Lauren A. Johnston (2023). China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Human Capital Implications. In: Zimmermann, K.F. (eds) Handbook of Labor, Human Resources and Population Economics. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57365-6_412-1
In 2013 China launched a flagship global development and geoeconomics initiative, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). From the lens of the contents of the two launch speeches the BRI can be understood as having five policy-related objectives which should be achieved via and alongside five delivery-related principles. These include direct human resources–related objectives, including fostering people-to-people ties, and goals that have vast implicit human resources–related implications, including those calling for fostering greater trade and investment. This chapter outlines those launch speeches, and China’s economic circumstances at the time of their delivery. This sets the context for onward elaboration of the BRI’s human resources–related policy announcements and goals, and the mechanisms for their delivery, including educational scholarships and in-country technical and vocational training, alongside language training, mainly via Confucius Institutes. Since none of China’s BRI activities happen in a controlled vacuum, and the BRI’s implementation context typically varies across time, country, and sector, it is difficult to draw specific human resource–related conclusions as to the BRI’s related implications. Case studies around the use of Chinese labor, and Chinese management, are, however, explored, and emphasis is placed on capacity to co-shape the human resources–related evolution of the BRI going forward.
- Michele Bruni (2022). China, the Belt and Road Initiative, and the Century of Great Migration. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
GLO Interview with the author.
- 2019 IESR-GLO Workshop on ‘Belt and Road’ – Labor Markets.