Opinion: Why and How China Should Lead ‘Belt and Road’ Initiaive

By Keyu Jin

In today’s world, many parts of the economy are operating like a network. Productivity is highest when the network is the largest and most expansive. This is the common notion of network effects described of internet platforms, such as Facebook, Amazon, Alibaba and Didi. But the same network effect applies to supply chains and production linkages, and it could also be described of infrastructure. The critical thinking behind this concept of infrastructure is that it is most productive only when connectivity (across countries and regions) is relatively complete — that its positive externality is only greatest when infrastructure networks cover all of the important linkages around the world.

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