Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2018, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (9): 1199-1214.doi: 10.1007/s11442-018-1520-y

• Orginal Article •     Next Articles

A discursive construction of the Belt and Road Initiative: From neo-liberal to inclusive globalization

Weidong LIU1,2,3(), DUNFORD Michael1,2, Boyang GAO4   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    3. College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    4. School of Management Science and Engineering, Central University of Finance and Economics, Beijing 100081, China
  • Received:2018-01-15 Accepted:2018-03-15 Online:2018-09-25 Published:2018-09-25
  • About author:

    Author: Liu Weidong (1967-), PhD and Professor, specialized in economic geography, regional development and the Belt and Road Initiative studies. E-mail:

  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41530751;National Social Science Foundation of China, No.17VDL008;The Project of Bureau of International Cooperation of the CAS, No.131A11KYSB20170014


An international consensus is emerging around the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) proposed by the Chinese government, with a growing number of countries seeing it as a way of jointly exploring new international economic governance mechanisms. Meanwhile, with the crisis of neo-liberalism, economic globalization has arrived at a crossroad. In particular, incessant voices speak out against globalization, making the quest for a new way of promoting global development a major challenge. In this context, more and more political elites and scholars consider that the BRI opens up a possible new globalization path, amongst which inclusive globalization warrants exploration. On the basis of a brief analysis of the course and mechanism of global economic expansion and the limitations of neo-liberal globalization, along with the putting into practice of the BRI, this paper outlines some of the core features of inclusive globalization, i.e., inclusive growth with effective and efficient government regulation; inclusive infrastructure development; inclusive development paths chosen nationally that suit national conditions; inclusive participation; and cultural inclusiveness. Although these features are not sufficient to characterize fully inclusive globalization, they do identify some directions for future research, and provide elements of a discursive construction of the BRI.

Key words: Belt and Road Initiative, globalization, neo-liberalism, inclusive globalization, China