GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2020, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (12): 2685-2704.doi: 10.11821/dlyj020200798

• Study of the Belt and Road Initiative Construction • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Evaluation method of infrastructure interconnection between China and other countries along the Belt and Road and its spatial pattern

WANG Chengjin1,2(), CHEN Peiran1,2,3, WANG Jiao'e1,2(), LI Na4   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
    4. Information Center, China International Engineering Consulting Corporation, Beijing 100048, China
  • Received:2019-09-12 Revised:2020-05-14 Online:2020-12-20 Published:2021-02-20
  • Contact: WANG Jiao'e;


The infrastructure is the basic bearing body of social and economic relation among the regions or countries and is the main part of interregional networks, which plays an important role in the interregional flow of product, market integration and resources allocation. Furthermore, the interconnection of infrastructure network is the important task and prerequisite of the Belt and Road. In this paper, based on the integrated infrastructure networks, we designed the model and evaluated the infrastructure interconnection between China and other countries along the Belt and Road, and analyzed the basic features and spatial pattern, and examined the interconnection level of different infrastructure networks, including railway, road, shipping, aviation, communication and energy infrastructure networks, discussed the type differentiation and its leading factors of infrastructure interconnection, and summarized the spatial mode of infrastructure interconnection. The main conclusions are as follows: (1) From the perspective of land-sea attribute, island countries' infrastructure connectivity with China is the highest, followed by comprehensive countries, and the inland countries' connectivity is the lowest. For the international regions, Russia-Mongolia region and Southeast Asia have the highest connectivity with China, while Central and Eastern Europe have the lowest. On national scale, the countries whose connectivity with China is the highest include Russia and Vietnam, while Palestine, East Timor and other five countries have not yet formed connectivity with China. From the composition of connection modes, the connectivity of shipping network is the highest, followed by aviation and optical cable. (2) Spatial distance, connection mode and major transportation corridors together dominate the formation of type differentiation of infrastructure connectivity. (3) Four typical spatial patterns of infrastructure connectivity between the countries along the Belt and Road and China have been formed, namely, land-sea integration external connectivity pattern, direct connectivity through land corridor pattern, endogenous low-level inland connectivity pattern and remote unbalanced connectivity pattern.

Key words: China, the Belt and Road, infrastructure, interconnection, spatial pattern