Received 18.05.2022. Revised 21.09.2022. Accepted 01.10.2022.
Acknowledgements. The study was funded by RFBR according to the research project ¹ 20-04-60337 “Optimization of Socio-Economic Principles of Regulation of Modern Societies in the Context of the Consequences of the Coronavirus Pandemic”.
Abstract. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), also known as the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, is a strategy of China’s entry into international markets through the building of land and sea trade corridors with the necessary infrastructure. According to the Chinese government’s statements, any State and any international organization can join the project that creates an inclusive cooperation platform. The aim of this article is to analyze the implementation of BRI in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), as well as to identify changes that occur in this process under the impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic. The primary sources are statistical data, government documents, papers of international organizations and forums, think tank reports, speeches by officials, media publications, etc. In the course of the study, the following results are obtained: recent scientific works on the topic are systematized, the issues considered in them are highlighted; the main documents related to the BRI and China-LÀÑ cooperation are listed and briefly characterized; the impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic on the implementation of BRI in the region is identified. The author comes to the conclusion that, on the one hand, the BRI is a kind of rebranding of China’s policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean. On the other hand, this initiative strengthens China’s presence in the region. It has become especially noticeable in the COVID‑19 pandemic context. In addition, there is a strategic expansion of the project itself and its goals, which may lead to a significant increase in tension between China and the USA.
Keywords: China, Belt and Road Initiative, the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, Latin America and the Caribbean, economic interests, infrastructure projects, COVID‑19, China-US confrontation
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