The Eurasian supercontinent is being rebuilt, with new roads, railways, and power plants changing regional dynamics and deepening East-West connections. The China Road Project is about gaining a front-row seat to this process.

 

Every country on the continent has its own ideas about how to reshape regional infrastructure, but China is the most important player in the Eurasian infrastructure game. Beijing's big plan for the continent, the "Belt and Road Initiative," is a complex beast. The BRI is about forging a new era of Chinese-sponsored development and global connectivity. It's a foreign policy concept, political slogan, and a development brand. The "Belt and Road," or the "New Silk Road" has attracted a lot of media attention in recent years, but few efforts have been made to find out what the initiative means on the ground, so in March 2019, I set off on a year long journey to explore the BRI.

The China Road Project is an exercise in slow travel - since March, I have been travelling overland, lingering long in important destinations and trying to better understand Chinese projects and their effects on local politics and populations. The first leg of my journey is from Brussels to Beijing, and I have been covering developments along this "New Silk Road" for the wonderful Berlin Policy Journal. I also contribute to the Belt and Road tracking efforts at the Mercator Institute for China Studies. With over 2600+ entries, our research is powered by the most sophisticated BRI database out there.

 

You can subscribe at the bottom of this page to updates on my progress and recent findings. Follow my progress on Twitter and Instagram, @The_China_Road, and if you'd like to get in touch, feel free to send me an email at jmardell@thechinaroad.co.uk

Planned route

Actual route, as of 06/09/19

The China Road

jmardell@thechinaroad.co.uk
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for photos of the trip.
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© 2023 by The China Road