In January 2023, China opened its borders for the first time since their closure in early 2020 due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Since then, the international order has changed significantly against the background of the war in Ukraine, growing US-China tensions, pandemic supply chain stagnation and its related global economic downturn. This leaves policymakers and investors wondering how all of this will affect China’s long-term global initiatives such as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). United Nations (UN) countries, including China, are still working towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and infrastructure initiatives, such as the BRI, can be vital instruments in helping the world achieve the targets set in the UN’s 2030 Agenda, primarily towards SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure).
Author: Cora Fagan, EIAS Junior Researcher