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THE CHINESE INITIATIVE “THE BELT AND ROAD”: A GEOGRAPHICAL PERSPECTIVE

https://doi.org/10.24057/2071-9388-2017-10-1-5-20

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Abstract

“The Belt and Road” is a long-term comprehensive strategic program for the development of Eurasia and the world, which has been promoted by China beginning in 2013. Its multi-dimensional features (in-country, regional, and global) are inclusive (multi-vector, the participation of all sectors of the economy) and have a strong non-economic component (“soft power”). The strategy is aimed at solving the problems of the Chinese economy with the help of foreign-policy methods and consolidation of China as an engine for the global economy. By virtue of its scale, the consistent implementation of the strategic provisions put forward in China would result in significant industrial and geographical transformations of the existing international division of labor. Active and proactive participation of Russia in the new course of China allows realization of the export and transit potential of Russia’s economy and helps mitigate imbalances in development between its parts. The authors discuss the concerns and risks associated with the implementation of initiatives.

About the Authors

V. A. Kolosov
Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences Lomonosov Moscow State University
Russian Federation

Faculty of Geography, Lomonosov Moscow State University

DSc. in Geography, Professor, Deputy Director (the Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences), Head of the Department of Geography of World Economy (the Faculty of Geography, Moscow State University), and Past President of the International Geographical Union. The main areas of expertise include political geography, geopolitics, social geography, and geography of cities. He taught and conducted scientific research in the universities of France, Finland, England, the USA, Belgium, and the Netherlands. He is the author of more than 350 scientific publications, head or coordinator of the Russian part of scientific projects supported by Russian foundations, European framework programs, the French Research Agency, etc. He is Editor-in-Chief of the journal “Regional Research of Russia” (together with V.M. Kotlyakov)



D. Suocheng
Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Doctor of Sciences, is leading professor of Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Science. He is the Executive Chairman and Secretary General of the International Scientists Union of the Belt and Road Initiative; member of Russia and China Ecological Council. He also serves many renowned institutions of China – Regional Ecological Economics Research and Planning Center; Resource Economics Research Center; Committee of Regional Ecological Economics; Committee of Resource Economics Research of China Natural Resources Society; Tourism Research and Planning & Design Center, IGSNRR, CAS. He is vice president of Chinese Society of Ecological Economics; member of Green Industry Expert Committee of China, UNIDO. He focuses on theory and practice of regional eco-economics and resource economics, and put forth the ecological civilization construction modes, Chinese characteristic circular economy modes, eco-city modes and comprehensive tourism modes, which are widely implemented in many areas of China. He presided over more than 90 key research projects of National Natural Science Foundation of China, international cooperation, key research programs of the ministries and local governments, and obtained more than 14 awards. Nine important advisory reports wrote by professor Dong were adopted by the office of the State Council, which provided important scientific and technological supports for national socio-economic development decision making. He also dedicates to promote international cooperation among China, Russia and Mongolia. He is now in charge of the state key project of multi-disciplinary Scientific Expedition of Russia-Mongolia-China international economic corridor funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology of P.R. China, from 2016 to 2021. He is the author of over 300 academic papers and books



V. Ya. Portyakov
Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

D.Sc., Professor, is Deputy Director of the Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences and Editor-in-chief of the “Far Eastern Affairs” journal. He graduated from the Lomonosov Moscow State University (1970) as a geographer. His research is focused on China in the world, Chinese economy and foreign policy. He is author of more than 300 publications, including 7 monographs on China’s economic development and foreign policy



I. G. Chubarov
Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

research fellow of the Institute of Far Eastern Studies, RAS (Center of Socio-Economic Research of China) and the Institute of Geography, RAS (Laboratory of Geopolitical Researches). He graduated with honors and then obtained PhD in Human Geography from the Faculty of Geography, Lomonosov Moscow State University (2014). His main research directions include urbanization and regional policies in China as well as Sino-Russian economic cooperation. As a visiting research fellow he had joint projects with a number of Chinese research institutions, including Peking University, Beijing Normal University and Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS



S. A. Tarkhov
Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Leading Researcher of the Institute of Geography of Russian Academy of Sciences (Department of Human Geography); PhD (1982) and DSc (2002) in Geography. After graduating as human geographer in 1976 he was engaged in research of air and urban transportation geography. During recent decades the main subjects of his research are transportation geography of Russia, transportation geography of countries of the former USSR, Iran, and China; urban transportation problems worldwide; the geography and the history of administrative-territorial division of the USSR and Russia; tourism geography worldwide. He is author of more than 1100 publications, including 31 monographs, dealing with the transportation geography, the history of urban transportation



V. A. Shuper
Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences Lomonosov Moscow State University
Russian Federation

Faculty of Geography, Lomonosov Moscow State University

DSc. in Geography, Leading Researcher of the Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences (he has been with the Institute from 1976), and Professor at the Department of Economic and Social Geography of Russia (the Faculty of Geography, Moscow State University). His scientific interests include the central place theory, methodology of geography, and problems of regional development. Since 2001, he has been conducting interdisciplinary Socrates Readings. He is the author of 237 scientific works, including a monograph



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Kolosov V.A., Suocheng D., Portyakov V.Y., Chubarov I.G., Tarkhov S.A., Shuper V.A. THE CHINESE INITIATIVE “THE BELT AND ROAD”: A GEOGRAPHICAL PERSPECTIVE. GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY. 2017;10(1):5-20. https://doi.org/10.24057/2071-9388-2017-10-1-5-20

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