The Belt and Road Initiative and international business policy: A kaleidoscopic perspective

Jiatao Li, Ari Van Assche, Xiaolan Fu, Lee Li, Gongming Qian

Research output: Journal PublicationEditorial

13 Citations (Scopus)


In this editorial, we take stock of the nature and scope of China’s global development strategy named the “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI), and how it influences international business (IB) policy. We build on the state of the current IB literature on the BRI and the findings of the Special Issue articles to suggest the need for complex integrative thinking on the initiative. We show that the BRI – like a kaleidoscope – elicits vastly different patterns of opportunities and challenges as we turn the perspective from policymakers in China, to governments in BRI host countries, and to officials in third countries. We illustrate how the application of integrative thinking to these perspectives allows for the identification when BRI projects generate tensions between countries and how this influences their IB policies. We further discuss under which circumstances BRI projects may benefit all sides and which IB policies can help promote these types of projects. We conclude with a discussion of future research directions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-151
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of International Business Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • BRI projects
  • Belt and Road Initiative
  • complex integrative thinking
  • international business policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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