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China Research Group: Banking on the Belt and Road

October 18, 2021

Over the last two decades, China has provided record amounts of international development finance and established itself as a financier of first resort for many low- and middle-income countries; however, its grant-giving and lending activities remain shrouded in secrecy. In a new report entitled Banking on the Belt and Road, a group of researchers from AidData introduce a uniquely comprehensive and granular dataset of international development finance from China that captures 13,427 projects worth $843 billion across 165 countries in every major world region over an 18-year period. Banking on the Belt and Road offers a bird’s-eye view of China’s geo-economic strategy before and after the introduction of the BRI in 2013. It details how spending patterns, debt levels, and project implementation problems have changed over time. Two experts from AidData, Dr Bradley Parks (Executive Director) and Dr Ammar Malik (Senior Research Scientist), joined the China Research Group to discuss their findings from the report.

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