Belt and Road Initiative: the interplay between corruption, plea-bargaining and civil alternative dispute resolution

Published date17 March 2023
Date17 March 2023
Subject MatterAccounting & finance,Financial risk/company failure,Financial crime
AuthorVeltrice Tan
Belt and Road Initiative: the
interplay between corruption,
plea-bargaining and civil
alternative dispute resolution
Veltrice Tan
Research Afliate, Singapore International Dispute Resolution Academy,
Singapore Management University, Singapore, Singapore
Purpose This paper aims to determine whether a connection can be formed between corruption, plea-
bargainingand civil alternative dispute resolution.
Design/methodology/approach Academic articles and textbooks are examined as are relevant
reports byvarious academic institutions.
Findings Despite the similarities between plea-bargaining and civil alternative dispute resolution, the
differences between the two overwhelminglysupersede their similarities. As such, there is unlikely to be an
interplaybetween corruption, criminal plea-bargainingand civil alternative disputeresolution.
Research limitations/implications There are limited data available in relation to the prevalence of
corruption activities by Chinese ofcials within the Belt and Road Initiative. Any discussions within this study is
based on the impressionistic observations of the author, which may not reect the true state of affairsin China.
Practical implications Those who are interested in examining the relationship betweenthe criminal
plea-bargainingand civil alternative dispute resolutionwill have an interest in this topic.
Originality/value The value of the paper is to demonstrate the difculties in cross-fertilizing criminal
law procedureswith civil dispute resolution.
Keywords Belt and Road Initiative, China, Corruption, Plea-Bargaining,
Civil alternative dispute resolution
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) aims to promote social and economic development through
the implementation of infrastructure projects (The World Bank, 2019). However, infrastructure
projects within the BRI are generally massive and more expensive than what most countries
canafford(Russel and Berger, 2019). To obtain sufcient funding, a country might enter into loan
agreements with the Chinese Government and its state-owned banks. Such loan agreements often
contain condentiality clauses that restrict the disclosure of contractual terms and/or the existence
of a debt (Gelpern et al., 2021). This author takes the view that the secluded nature of loan
agreements may entice a country to use underhanded means (such as bribes) to elicit favourable
contractual terms from Chinese ofcials.The manifestation of such arcane workarounds and side
deals could, deplorably, lead to the proliferation of corruption within the BRI.
This author acknowledges and is grateful for the support of the Singapore International Dispute
Resolution Academys BRI Program. This article is written in the authors personal capacity, and the
opinions expressed in the article are entirely the authors own views. All errors remain the authors
Belt and Road
Journalof Financial Crime
Vol.30 No. 3, 2023
pp. 603-617
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/JFC-02-2023-0029
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:

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