The Belt and Road Initiative: Vehicle for China’s Humanitarian Action?

Organisation: NTS, RSIS

Authors: Lina Gong
Research Themes:
Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief
Type: Policy Reports
30 June 2021


Executive Summary

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) encompasses overseas activities of diverse Chinese actors mainly focused on infrastructure projects and investments. China has increased its contributions to humanitarian projects in countries along the BRI routes, which are under-explored. This policy report examines China’s humanitarian action, assesses how effective China is in translating its growing resources to greater humanitarian contributions, and discusses the relevance of humanitarian activities to the BRI and what it means for Southeast Asia. The report finds that China prioritises the BRI partner countries in its humanitarian efforts although it has yet to develop a strategy to integrate its humanitarian activities with the initiative. As Beijing transforms its aid programme, Southeast Asia therefore has more room to manoeuvre to engage China’s increasing humanitarian activities.









Source: The Russian Presidential Press and Information Office via Wikimedia, under creative commons license