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October 18, 2023

BRI in Crisis? The Future of the Belt and Road Initiative

Event Series: China and the Global South

Chinese container ship Tian Kang He. Flickr/Bari Bookout

Fall 2023 marks 10 years of Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), arguably Beijing’s most significant development and foreign policy instrument. While the BRI has become a hallmark of China’s foreign relations, the aftermath of COVID and other pressing domestic economic woes in China have raised questions about what the future holds for this initiative. In October 2023, representatives from around the world traveled to Beijing for the third Belt and Road Forum–the first in four years. This panel of experts unpacked what can be learned from this latest summit and what may be in store for the Belt and Road Initiative moving forward.

This event was co-sponsored by the Walsh School of Foreign Service Asian Studies Program and the Initiative for U.S.-China Dialogue on Global Issues at Georgetown University.


Matthew S. Erie is an associate professor, member of the law faculty, and associate research fellow of the Socio-Legal Studies Centre at the University of Oxford. His work addresses such issues as law and capitalism, alternative global orders, comparative international law, socio-legal methods and theories, and China. His current research project “China, Law and Development” examines China’s approach to international law and the legal and regulatory systems of host states receiving Chinese capital. 

Xue Gong is a nonresident scholar at Carnegie China. She is also assistant professor and deputy coordinator of the Master of Science in International Political Economy program at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Her current research interests include international political economy, China’s economic diplomacy, regionalism and governance, and geoeconomics in the Indo-Pacific.

Min Ye is a professor of international relations at the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University. Her research sits in the nexus between domestic and global politics and the intersection of economics and security. Professor Ye’s areas of expertise include Chinese political economy, China and India comparison, East Asian international relations, and globalization with focuses on transnational immigration and foreign investment. 

Evan Medeiros (moderator) is the Penner Family Chair in Asian Studies at the School of Foreign Service and a senior fellow with the Initiative for U.S.-China Dialogue on Global Issues at Georgetown University. Medeiros has in-depth experience in U.S. policy toward the Asia-Pacific from his time on the National Security Council as director for China, Taiwan and Mongolia, and then as special assistant to the president and senior director for Asia under President Barack Obama.