The Belt and Road Initiative – Shared Development or a Threat for the World Economy?
Purpose: The authors of the article try to situate the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) - Chinese flag international project - in theory and turn attention to the risks accompanying it. The article examines the applicability of a theoretical concept connected with the sharing economy towards the Belt and Road Initiative. Presenting the idea of shared development is a novelty in the approach towards BRI. It puts China at the center of the future globalization wave, describing the process with Chinese characteristics and comparing it with Western-style globalization. The aim of this research is also to assess and discuss the disadvantages and threats of the Belt and Road Initiative from different points of view countries/participants involved, the world economy, and China itself. Design/Methodology/Approach: The main tool used in the first part of the research is a literature analysis, whereas, in the second part, logical reasoning based on a critical analysis of recent and older literature and official Chinese statements have been used. The third part of the reasoning is based on empirical examples from Belt and Road countries – this being a base for synthesizing the research. A qualitative method was applied to this research. Findings: The study results have confirmed that given the various aspects concerning the BRI, the initiative is a source of both opportunities and threats for all the participating sides. Practical Implications: The results can be used to estimate the positive and negative consequences of individual economies' engagement in the BRI project. They may enhance or warn the engaged countries as far as this grand project's participation is concerned. Originality/value: The concept of shared development as the theoretical base for the Belt and Road Initiative is a complete novelty. The multifaceted approach towards the positive and negative sides of BRI is also not popular in the literature. The model used in the article is the effect of the authors' own work.