Monday, 16 November 2020 10:19

Deconstructing the China Model: Analyzing China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” in Kenya and Pakistan

Written by 1S. Mwangi and 2S. Ali
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1S. Mwangi and 2S. Ali

Karatina University

Department of Social Sciences

Corresponding Author:


The “Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)” has become a major hallmark of China’s overseas engagement in different regions of Asia, Middle East, Europe and Africa. China claims that the BRI presents an open and inclusive economic development model that emphasizes equality and mutual benefit, inclusiveness and mutual coordination, and win-win cooperation to promote the common development of all countries including China. In most of the participant countries, BRI projects have followed Chinese model of state-centric approach in their planning and execution. Accordingly, questions are being raised about the impact and implications that China’s development carries for the political and economic systems of host countries. Within this context, this paper compares and highlights the limitations of China’s development model in Kenya and Pakistan, two key BRI participant countries in South Asia and Africa. The study is based on going Chinese led infrastructural projects, and as such, will relay on secondary data from government and current affairs sources among others. The paper argues that, instead of becoming an inclusive model of economic development, the BRI has produced numerous implications for the political and economic systems of Kenya and Pakistan. Accordingly, this paper recommends for more inclusive, active and open public participation by various stakeholders in the planning and execution of these projects to overcome simmering discontents in Pakistan and Kenya and any other country witnessing China supported infrastructural projects. This will go along way addressing the limitation of Chinese BRI projects in political systems that are relatively democratic and open than China.

Key words:  BRI, China Model, Kenya, Limitations, Pakistan

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