SOAS University of London

Department of Economics

China's Belt and Road Initiative: Challenge and Opportunities

Module Code:
Year of study:
Year 2 or Year 3

Initially two obscure projects (The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road) announced in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has quickly become the centre-piece of China’s economic diplomacy over the past few years. Spanning across Asia, Europe and Africa, the project is often called the “Marshall Plan” of China as it aims to promote the economic development of the less-developed countries in the three continents. Taught by an advisor to the WTO and the Chinese government, this course will provide an in-depth analysis for the background for the BRI, the detailed strategy of China in each areas covered such as trade and investment, and how the BRI might result in an alternative economic order led by China.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

Upon successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  • Achieve a deep understanding of the background and content of the BRI.
  • Critically analyse the challenges and opportunities BRI entails.


  • 50% one individual reflection paper
  • 30% one written group report and presentation
  • 20% individual class performance


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules