The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has brought with it an unprecedented number of agreements. BRI agreements consist of primary agreements (particularly MOUs) and secondary agreements (like performance agreements). They are a distinct, landmark feature of the BRI. Focusing on primary agreements and their close link with secondary agreements, this paper explores the following questions: What are the legal status and characteristics of primary agreements? Why are they adopted by China? What challenges do they face? BRI primary agreements can be regarded as a form of soft law, but as one that repurposes soft law characteristics for project development rather than rule development. BRI primary agreements feature the unique characteristics of (i) minimal legalization, (ii) a coordinated, project-based nature, and (iii) hub-and-spoke network structure. While BRI primary agreements benefit from the advantages of soft law (e.g., reduced contracting costs, flexibility), they face challenges including those concerning underlying interests and their effectiveness.
Sunday, January 17, 2021
Wang: The Belt and Road Initiative Agreements: Characteristics, Rationale and Challenges
Heng Wang (Univ. of New South Wales - Law) has posted The Belt and Road Initiative Agreements: Characteristics, Rationale and Challenges (World Trade Review, forthcoming). Here's the abstract: