Home Institution

College of Wooster

Publication Date

Fall 2019

Program Name

Switzerland: International Studies and Multilateral Diplomacy


The belt and road initiative is one of the most significant developments of the twenty-first century, which the United States will need to learn to adapt to. Much of the academic literature regarding the belt and road initiative mentions that Africa is a significant participant in this policy development, but fail to elaborate as to why that is, or what the implications for this are for the United States. This article expands upon the strategic significance of the African continent, and explains the implications thereof for the United States and China. This article argues that the belt and road initiative is not simply a financial endeavor, as Chinese leaders claim, nor is it simply an attempt to counter the geopolitical prowess of the United States, as critics argue. The reality is somewhere in-between. China stands to improve its internal stability through economic means from the initiative, and at the same time, seeks to secure access to trade routes, ports, and industries of strategic importance. This article argues that the United States should not reject the belt and road initiative outright, as it stands to benefit from many of the endeavors. Rather than aggressively countering and dismissing the belt and road initiative, the United States should provide a viable alternative to countries participating in the initiative so as not to lose access to points of strategic importance.


African Studies | Infrastructure | International Economics | International Relations | Transportation | Transportation Engineering | Transportation Law


Article Location