If you want to get rich, first build a road
Abstract: This paper examines the effect of Chinese OFDI on China’s bilateral trade with affected countries, to investigate the possible build-up of a Eurasian China-centric trade network. The main contribution of the paper is to have combined economics, war theory and geopolitics to analyse and produce a theoretical framework for it. Whereas there is a lack of consensus on the effect of FDI on trade in general, this study suggests that the influence of the CCP over the Chinese economy allows the party to use Chinese OFDI for its own interests. Furthermore, trade has become a vital interest to the CCP. Another problem for the CCP is the increasing geopolitical tension with primarily USA. According to this paper, the formation of a China-centred trade network would help the Chinese domestic economic situation, increase Chinese influence in Asia and increase the economic resilience of China. All this would help address the aforementioned concerns facing the party. This was tested empirically using a modified version of the gravity model of trade. The result was in line with the theoretical prediction but not in line with the prediction of the gravity model. This could not be explained but was still taken to support the theory, thus opening for future studies on the subject.
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