Policy report by By Lina Gong, Research Fellow with the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Programme at the Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS Centre), S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) encompasses overseas activities of diverse Chinese actors mainly focused on infrastructure projects and investments. China has increased its contributions to humanitarian projects in countries along the BRI routes, which are under-explored. This policy report examines China’s humanitarian action, assesses how effective China is in translating its growing resources to greater humanitarian contributions, and discusses the relevance of humanitarian activities to the BRI and what it means for Southeast Asia. The report finds that China prioritizes the BRI partner countries in its humanitarian efforts although it has yet to develop a strategy to integrate its humanitarian activities with the initiative. As Beijing transforms its aid programme, Southeast Asia, therefore, has more room to manoeuvre to engage China’s increasing humanitarian activities.
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