Chinese Geographical Science ›› 2020, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (5): 839-854.doi: 10.1007/s11769-020-1144-x

• Articles • Previous Articles    

Spatial-temporal Evolution and Determinants of the Belt and Road Ini-tiative: A Maximum Entropy Gravity Model Approach

HUANG Qinshi1,2, ZHU Xigang1, LIU Chunhui3,4, WU Wei5, LIU Fengbao1, ZHANG Xinyi1   

  1. 1. School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China;
    2. School of Civil Engineering and Archi-tecture, Zhejiang University of Science and Technology, Hangzhou 310023, China;
    3. College of Humanities and Social Development, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China;
    4. Institute of Regional Agricultural Research, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China;
    5. Key Laboratory of Watershed Geographic Sciences, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China
  • Received:2019-07-17 Revised:2019-12-25 Published:2020-06-23
  • Contact: ZHU Xigang.E-mail:zhuxigang522@hotmail.com E-mail:zhuxigang522@hotmail.com
  • Supported by:
    Under the auspices of A Category of Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. XDA20010101)

Abstract: The spatial interaction model is an effective way to explore the geographical disparities inherent in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by simulating spatial flows. The traditional gravity model implies the hypothesis of equilibrium points without any reference to when or how to achieve it. In this paper, a dynamic gravity model was established based on the Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) theory to estimate and monitor the interconnection intensity and dynamic characters of bilateral relations. In order to detect the determinants of interconnection intensity, a Geodetector method was applied to identify and evaluate the determinants of spatial networks in five dimensions. The empirical study clearly demonstrates a heterogeneous and non-circular spatial structure. The main driving forces of spatial-temporal evolution are foreign direct investment, tourism and railway infrastructure construction, while determinants in different sub-regions show obvious spatial differentiation. Southeast Asian countries are typically multi-island area where aviation infrastructure plays a more important role. North and Central Asian countries regard oil as a pillar industry where power and port facilities have a greater impact on the interconnection. While Western Asian countries are mostly influenced by the railway infrastructure, Eastern European countries already have relatively robust infrastructure where tariff policies provide a greater impetus.

Key words: spatial interaction model, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) gravity model, spatial pattern, China