Impact of the Belt and Road Initiative on China’s soft power: preliminary evidence

Jan P. VOON, Xinpeng XU

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Using latest available international survey data on soft power and China’s overseas direct investment (ODI) statistics, this paper examines if China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), commonly perceived as an institution setup by China to build cross-border infrastructure to bolster trade and investment, had increased China’s international image or soft power. We find that the overall impact of ODI in BRI countries on China’s soft power is statistically insignificant over the period 2011 to 2016, yet further analysis reveals that the investments in the BRI countries along the land route bring significant improvement in China’s soft power.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-131
Number of pages12
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Accounting and Economics
Issue number1
Early online date3 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Special Section: China and the World Economy: Special Section for the 10th Biennial Conference of Hong Kong Economic Association


  • Belt and Road Initiative
  • Soft power
  • overseas direct investment

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