PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2015, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (5): 545-553.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2015.05.002

• 一带一路专辑 • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Impacts of the Belt and Road Initiative on the spatial pattern of territory development in China

Hui LIU1,2, Wuzhati YEERKEN1,2,3, Chenglong WANG1,2,3   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    3. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2015-04-01 Revised:2015-05-01 Online:2015-06-17 Published:2015-06-17


The "Belt and Road Initiative" is and will continue to be an overall strategy of China's all round opening-up for a long time into the future. The building of the "Belt and Road" has become a long term national strategy for China, which will have great impacts on the spatial pattern of China's territory development. Based on an analysis of the current characteristics of the spatial pattern of China's territory development, this study examines the influence of the "Belt and Road Initiative" on the spatial pattern of China's territory development with regard to the all round opening-up, improvement of facilities connectivity, changes of energy supply system, trade, and social and culture exchanges. The "Belt and Road Initiative" emphasizes international facilities connectivity and all-dimensional opening-up including in the coastal, border, and inland areas. Based on the great international transport and economic corridors proposed by the Chinese government in the "Vision and Action on Jointly Building Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road," this article mainly analyzes the impacts of different international economic corridors on territory development in different regions. The main results are as follows. (1) The "Belt and Road Initiative" will have great impacts on the spatial pattern of China's territory development. Although different international economic corridors influence different regions, the western region of China will benefit the most from the "Belt and Road Initiative", which conduces to shape an equitable territory development. (2) The "Belt and Road Initiative" will facilitate the formation of several metropolitan economic areas and economically highly developed areas in the inland area that open to the outside, such as Xi'an, Chengdu, Chongqing, Urumqi, Kunming, Nanning, Wuhan, Zhengzhou, and so on. These areas will form an all round opening-up territory development pattern. (3) The "Belt and Road Initiative" will provide more economic hinterland for the coastal areas' industrial structure upgrading and economic development, which will strengthen the coastal areas' international competitiveness and help to form a high efficiency territory development pattern. (4) The "Belt and Road Initiative" will accelerate the development of port of entry and inland border cities, such as Dongxing, Ruili, Manzhouli, Erenhot, Khorgas, and promote the development of cross-border economic cooperation areas based on successful implementation of the Khorgas cross-border economic cooperation area, which will drive the development of border areas that will become an important region for territory development.

Key words: the Belt and Road Initiative, territory development, international economic corridors, inland economically highly developed area, China