S President Donald Trump’s economic policies pose more of a challenge than opportunity to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, said Yu Xiang, senior researcher of China Institutes for Contemporary International Relations, writing for CRI Online
, a news site run by China Radio International.
The US is likely to see in the short term the gathering of global capital as a result of Trump’s “America First” policies, which could cause financial strain for developing countries, according to Yu. China’s Belt and Road proposals will be just in time to relieve their economic distress, he said. In the future, however, the implementation of Belt and Road will depend on whether China and US can clear away their mutual distrust, the scholar said.
While the US is an indirect beneficiary of the Belt and Road, according to Yu, there will nonetheless be an apparent impact on the country. Trump’s strategic doubt over the scheme is thus expected to grow stronger, he said. The external environment for the implementation of Belt and Road is also likely to worsen if Trump’s disrespect for international rules were to be imitated by other countries, the scholar noted.
Trump’s withdrawal from multilateral trade schemes, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, to focus on bilateral relations will also stymy efforts to enhance global governance, according to Yu. While bilateral negotiations are more efficient in problem solving, he said, it’s likely to give rise to closed circles that will make it harder for Belt and Road to be promoted on a global scale.