In an article published in the Canadian Foreign Policy Journal (CFPJ) online in February 2024, Lunting Wu examines Brazil and Chile’s divergent approaches to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in South America.

Current BRI-related literature falls short of consistently explaining countries’ foreign policy decisions towards the BRI. In discerning the reasons why developing countries that are economically dependent on China joined the BRI or not, this article argues that countries’ different role constellations with China shape their foreign policy vis-à-vis the BRI. It contends that under a congruent role constellation – in which the conception of a cooperative role with China is congruent with other roles, foreign policymakers are inclined to form a benign perception of the BRI. This study focuses on Brazil and Chile’s enactment of different roles, and concludes that Brazil’s conflicting role constellation and Chile’s congruent role constellation have led them to formulate opposite approaches towards the BRI.

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About the Author

Lunting Wu is a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS), associate in the Cluster of Excellence “Contestations of the Liberal Script” and the Center for European Integration at Freie Universität Berlin, as well as a fellow of FGV Europe and the Instituto do Oriente of the University of Lisbon.

About the Canadian Foreign Policy Journal (CFPJ)

Established in 1992, CFPJ is now Canada’s leading journal of international affairs. CFPJ foregrounds quantitative and qualitative methodologies, especially empirically based original studies that facilitate grounded and fresh analysis to serve theory, policy, and strategy development.

CFPJ is published by the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University and this third issue marks the end of its 30th year of publication. The publication can be viewed by following this link:

For information about submitting articles for review, subscriptions, and content contact the Journal’s Editor, David Carment, at

Photo via Mark Stoop

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