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Belt and Road Initiative ongoing research

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Jonathan Fulton
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In recent years, the trade volume between China and six GCC countries has risen substantially, and with these commercial relations, China has become a major economic partner for the GCC. This article analyzes the economics of China-GCC economic interdependence. It begins with an analysis of the features of the political economic relationship, focusing on energy, trade, investment, and infrastructure and construction projects. It then discusses the process of formalizing these relationships through the ongoing negotiation of the China-GCC Free Trade Agreement. It then examines how this economic relationship can intensify through GCC cooperation in China's "Belt and Road" Initiative. Located on opposite ends of Asia, China and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states have developed dense and multifaceted relations in recent years. Trade and economic relations have been foundational in developing these ties, with energy playing an important role. Increasingly, commercial relations are becoming more diverse and formalized, with foreign direct investment, and infrastructure and construction projects featuring heavily. This article examines the growth of China-GCC relations at a time when the "Belt and Road" Initiative (BRI) is coming to play an increasingly important role in China's international relations. It begins with a discussion of the political economy of China-GCC relations, and then discusses the ongoing negotiations and implications of the China-GCC free trade agreement (FTA), which is expected to conclude in the near future. It then frames the relationship in terms of the GCC's potential role in the BRI, and how this can influence the future trajectory of China-GCC cooperation.
Jonathan Fulton
added a research item
The One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative is transforming China's position across multiple regions. In particular, its role in South and Central Asia is increasing significantly, commensurate with its rising interests in both regions. Central to OBOR are five cooperation priorities: policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration, and people-to-people bonds. This paper presents case studies of two corridors, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the China-Central West Asia Economic Corridor (CCWAEC), mapping political and economic interactions to each of these cooperation priorities. This paper will analyze levels of existing interdependence between China and the states in question in order to determine which cooperation priorities require greater resources and which have already achieved a measure of success. As such, it anticipates future areas of focus for Chinese policy in both regions, indicating a possible trajectory of China's political and economic interactions in South and Central Asia.