Abstract: The “Belt and Road” (BR) initiative, which the Chinese Government offi cially announced in 2013, has generated much excitement not only within China but also internationally. The BR aims at promoting economic cooperation among the countries which are covered by it, and naturally the discussion relating to the BR has focused mainly on the economic aspects. There has been little discussion of its legal aspects despite the potential impact that economic cooperation among the BR countries will have on the rights and obligations of participants. Of special concern is the need to ensure the availability of timely and effective remedies for breaches of treaty and other obligations. While it is unrealistic to expect a comprehensive legal instrument in place at these initial stages, the BR must work towards eventually adopting a legal framework applicable to all the participating countries. This article examines features of globalisation in the context of which the BR initiative was introduced, the challenges that it is likely to face, possible measures to meet some challenges and more generally the perspectives of the BR.
Keywords: Belt and Road; China; international law; globalisation; WTO; GATT; investment; trade; dispute resolution; rule of law; IMF; TRIPS
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