International linkages, geopolitics, and the belt and road initiative: A comparison of four island territories

Ying Ho Kwong, Mathew Y.H. Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Existing literature has placed a strong emphasis on foreign linkages for the sustainability of island territories. However, studies have largely focused the effect of Western linkages, leaving the rise of Asian linkages unexplored. Such an investigation is of increasing significance given China’s rise in global politics and its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This article explains island territories’ inclination towards this newfound Chinese influence by comparing two Danish island territories and two Chinese island territories and argues that island territories with strong international linkages tend to face more challenges to accept the BRI, as demonstrated by the cases of Greenland and Hong Kong with stronger US strategic, military, and diplomatic linkages; and vice versa for the Faroe Islands and Macau with relatively weak international linkages. This paper contributes to the literature by moving beyond internal factors, including island types, sizes, and peripheralities, to explore how external factors, namely foreign linkages in international politics, from an alternative geopolitical perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-154
Number of pages24
JournalIsland Studies Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • Belt and Road Initiative
  • China
  • Economic dependence
  • Geopolitics
  • Islands
  • United States


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