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Infrastructure Statecraft and Sino-U.S. Strategic Competition in the Indo-Pacific

The China Review

赵明昊:Infrastructure Statecraft and Sino-U.S. Strategic Competition in the Indo-Pacific, The China Review,  Vol.23, No.1, 2023, pp.45-77.


Major powers are advancing strategic competition in infrastructure building in the developing world. They cultivate their infrastructure statecraft by securing financial and technological resources, making institutional arrangements, and managing infrastructure-related consequences. The infrastructure statecraft which covers physical and digitalinfrastructure as well as hard and soft infrastructure has connotationsof geopolitics, geoeconomics and geotechnology. The Sino-U.S. strategic competition in the infrastructure of the Indo-Pacific has intensified in recent years. China has been proactively advancing infrastructure cooperation under the banner of BRI. The United States has proposed the “free and open Indo-Pacific strategy” and “Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment,” and it competes with China in the infrastructure field by building networked coalitions with its allies and partners. The infrastructure competition illustrates the development-security nexus challenge of U.S.-China rivalry over connectivity in the Indo-Pacific. China has taken measures to readjust the way it advances the Belt and Road Initiative and improves its infrastructure statecraft. This article argues that Sino-U.S. competition on regional infrastructure is not necessarily a zero-sum game.

Minghao Zhao is Professor at the Center for American Studies, Fudan University and Senior Fellow at Fudan Institute of Belt and Road & Global Governance. Correspondence should be sent to mhzhao@fudan.edu.cn.

The research for this article is supported by the National Social Science Fund of China (no. 21&ZD172), Fudan Development Institute, and the Asia Research Center at Fudan University.

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