Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2018, Vol. 73 ›› Issue (8): 1526-1539.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201808010

• Transportation and Tourism Geography • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The spatial balance pattern between land and sea transport in Europe-Asia under the Belt and Road Initiative

LU Mengqiu1,2(),CHEN Yu1,2(),LU Yuqi1,2,LI Enkang1,2   

  1. 1. School of Geography Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023, China
    2. Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and Application, Nanjing 210023, China
  • Received:2017-10-10 Online:2018-08-15 Published:2018-07-31
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41430635, No.41701122;China Postdoctoral Science Foundation, No.2017M611854

Abstract:

In the context of the Belt and Road Initiative, the analysis of Eurasian land and sea transport spatial equilibrium pattern which is formed on the basis of cost coopetition is an important economic and geographic topic with both theoretical and practical significance. This article takes Beijing and Berlin as destinations on the two sides of Europe-Asia and, on the basis of existing rail networks and maritime data, adopts accessibility analysis to build a land and sea transport spatial equilibrium analysis model. Using this model, this study draws balance lines for land and sea transport in Eurasia in order to clarify patterns of Eurasian land and sea transport spatial coopetition in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative. This study shows that: (1) When only transportation costs are compared, sea transport holds an absolute advantage, while the balance line for land and sea transport passes through Russia along the Baltic Sea coastal region-Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Tajikistan-Northwest China-Mongolia-the Russian Far East. Herein, the spatial coopetition pattern between land and sea transport divides Eurasia into an equilibrium pattern described by a 1∶2 ratio. (2) While considering time costs, balance line shifts distinctly toward coastal regions, following the route Berlin-north coast of the Black Sea-Turkey-Tibetan Plateau-Baoji, China-Da Hinggan Prefecture, China-Chumikan, Russia. Here, the coopetition pattern between land and sea transport forms a balance posture by a 1∶1 ratio. (3) The above Eurasian land and sea transport balance lines share a strong spatial similarity with the corresponding results of the geopolitical theories of land power theory and rimland theory. This indicates an inherent common regularity in Eurasian geo-economic and geopolitical spatial differentiation. On this basis, this paper proposes a spatial division scheme for Eurasian inland area (land transport advantage zone), sea area (sea transport advantage zone) and land-and-sea area. As such, a comprehensive analysis of the spatial equilibrium relationship of land and sea transport may become a new perspective for exploring geopolitical and economic spatial patterns in Eurasia, and provide a solid geoscientific basis for the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Key words: the Belt and Road Initiative, transport cost, spatial balance model of land and sea transport, container, spatial division