Doctoral student writing

One Belt and One Road initiative

  • School: Nottingham Business School
  • Starting: 2018
  • Funding: UK student / EU student (non-UK) / International student (non-EU) / Self-funded


One Belt and One Road "is not an entity or a mechanism”. Rather, it is a concept and initiative of cooperative development that relies on the existing dual multilateral mechanism between Asia, Europe, non-mainland China, neighbouring oceans, and the existing platform for regional cooperation. It borrows the concept of the ancient" Silk Road", takes the initiative to develop economic cooperation and partnership with other countries and regions along the route to jointly build a community of mutual trust in politics, economic integration and cultural tolerance. Huang (2016) argues that such an initiative faces significant barriers due to lack of central coordination mechanism and clash of different political regimes. India and Japan are not enthusiastic about this project. In Europe, anti-globalisation sentiments typified by Brexit and influential far-right  political leaders such as Marine Le Pen could also create roadblocks for China's Belt and Road project. Nevertheless, Herrero and Xu (2017) argue that EU countries, especially landlocked countries, will benefit in trade in term of significant reduction in transaction costs.  Du and Zhang (2017) have found that China’s overseas direct investment rose significantly in the belt-road regions and Central and Western Europe will benefit from large Chinese OFDI. However, most of the work concentrate on political issues and challenges that China faces and nothing much has been done on concrete impacts and the like.

Proposed Structure: This project will comprise three individual papers that will examine the consequences of OBOR initiative. The first paper will look at the how OFDI has impacted on the economic growth of the Belt-Road countries. The second paper will examine whether there is a possibility of single currency within the region. The last paper will employ the gravity model to investigate whether and how a reduction in transportation costs associated with the construction and improvement of transport infrastructure affects trade flows for Belt and Road countries.

Du, J. and Zhang, Y. (2017) “Does One Belt One Road initiative promote Chinese overseas direct investment?” China Economic Review, Available online 5 September 2017
Herrero, A. G. and Xu, J. (2017) “China's Belt and Road Initiative: Can Europe Expect Trade Gains?” China and World Economy, vol. 25, issue 6, p84-99
Huang, Y (2016) Understanding China's Belt & Road Initiative: Motivation, framework and assessment. China Economic Review, vol. 40, p.314-321


Dr Jingwen Fan

Entry qualifications

An applicant for admission to read for a PhD should normally hold a first or upper second class honours degree of a UK university or an equivalent qualification, or a lower second class honours degree with a Master's degree at Merit level of a UK university or an equivalent qualification.

International students will also need to meet the English language requirements - IELTS 6.5 (with minimum sub-scores of 6.0). Applicants who have taken a higher degree at a UK university are normally exempt from the English language requirements. A research proposal (between 1,000 and a maximum of 2,000 words) must be submitted as part of the application.

For more information please visit the NTU Doctoral School – Research Degrees webpages.

How to apply

How to apply

Applications are accepted all year round.

Download an application form here.
Please make sure you take a look at our application guidance notes before making your application.

Further information on how to apply can be found on this page.

Fees and funding

This is a self-funded PhD opportunity.

Guidance and support

Further information on guidance and support can be found on this page.

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Jingwen Fan