2 Items

A Chinese soldier stands guard next to Tiananmen Square

AP/Louise Delmotte

Journal Article - Global Studies Quarterly

Two Paths: Why States Join or Avoid China's Belt and Road Initiative

  • M. Taylor Fravel
  • Raymond Wang
  • Nick Ackert
  • Sihao Huang
| 2023

Although China's motives for developing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) have been well studied, scholars have yet to comprehensively examine why states seek to join the initiative. The authors fill this gap by examining how and why states join the BRI. Countries join by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China on cooperation under the BRI framework.

United States. Central Intelligence Agency. The Spratly Islands and Paracel Islands. Scale 1:2,000,000. Washington, D.C.: Central Intelligence Agency, 1992.

CIA map, 1992.

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Freedom of Navigation in the South China Sea: A Practical Guide

| June 2017

By virtue of geography, the South China Sea is home to some of the world’s most important shipping lanes. Ships carrying exports and imports between markets in Asia and in Europe, Africa, and the Americas must transit through the South China Sea; it is estimated that $5.3 trillion in trade passes through the region annually. Circumnavigating the region would involve both considerable expense and time delay in the delivery of goods. As a result, most nations have a direct stake in ensuring that freedom of navigation is respected in the South China Sea.

Unfortunately, however, the South China Sea is home to a number of longstanding territorial disputes. Brunei, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam have overlapping sovereignty claims to various maritime features and areas of water in the South China Sea. Most of these territorial disputes center on features located in the Paracel and Spratly island groups.