Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies
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China's president Xi Jinping has promised that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will not recreate the "old geopolitical games...but create a new model of win-win and cooperation. It will not form a small group undermining stability, but is set to build a big family with harmonious co-existence." This presentation describes what studying the BRI can tell you about Chinese foreign policy. It explores how the BRI can be used as a guide to discerning Chinese policy priorities, Beijing's preferred modes of international engagement, and the process by which Chinese foreign policy is made. It will also consider why Xi made exactly 42 BRI-related addresses in the five years after BRI was announced (all 42 compiled in a volume published by the Central Party Literature Press) and why BRI had expanded to include 42 European cities by 2018.