How does COVID-19 impact the Belt and Road?

Infographics on China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Source.

Travel Restriction and Quarantine for Workers

Days before the Chinese New Year in 2020, many Chinese workers working in the Jakarta-Bandung High Speed Rail project in Indonesia flew back to China to celebrate the festive with their families. However, after the celebration of the Chinese New Year came to an end, many faced travel restriction and quarantine — and barred temporarily to leave their hometown and country.

Limited Supply

With domestic workers in China are also being temporarily laid-off, materials produced in Chinese factories are also halted from being produced. Hence, trade of materials from China to many Belt and Road countries is also come into a halt — statistically, many Belt and Road projects source majority of their materials from China. With materials are not being delivered in time, it is expected that the projects will be further delayed.

Domestic Protection

In the long run, countries will struggle to stabilize their economies in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak. Many of them are expected to prioritize their domestic stability. China is not an exception. Paul Haenle (2020), writes that

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Angelo Wijaya

Angelo Wijaya

International Relations enthusiast