Tropical Geography ›› 2021, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (6): 1199-1208.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003396

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Structural Characteristics of Trade Network in Countries along the Polar Silk Road

Wulin Wang1,2(), Jiao Gong1(), Zhen Lin1   

  1. 1.College of Environment and Safety Engineering, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou 350108, China
    2.Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2021-06-10 Revised:2021-08-24 Online:2021-11-05 Published:2021-11-16
  • Contact: Jiao Gong;


As an extension of the Belt and Road Initiative to the Arctic, the Polar Silk Road initiative has provided opportunities for international trade development along its routes. this can accelerate the transnational flow of economic factors and promote the sustainable development of global trade. Based on the trade data of 37 countries along the Polar Silk Road in 2019, a trade network of these countries has been constructed. The complex network analysis method is used to study the topological structure characteristics of the trade network and to analyze the geo-spatial distribution characteristics of the three centrality indexes of the nodes. Community detection is used to identify the structure of the trade community and analyze its spatial distribution characteristics. With the help of the Continuous Coreness model, the core degree of the country is calculated and its circle structure is visualized. This study found that: (1) The high density and reciprocity of the trade network indicate that the network is very interoperable and diffusive. Compared with the random network, the Polar Silk Road trade network has a higher agglomeration coefficient and a shorter average path length, indicating that it has the characteristics of small-world and scale-free. (2) The trade network node has a typical hierarchy, presenting obvious characteristics of the "core-edge" circle structure, while Germany, China, the United States, and the Netherlands are in the core circle and are the hubs of the trade network. (3) The trade network can be divided into five different communities, namely the North American community, a community dominated by East Asian countries, and three communities dominated by European countries. Their spatial distribution is characterized by continuity, with close trade links among the communities, and China is the core of the community to which it belongs. (4) The trade network is characterized by the coexistence structure of hub radiation and full connection. The intensity centrality presents an embedded unit pattern, and the closeness centrality is characterized by the block distribution of a concentrated continuous area. The polarization of intermediary centrality is very obvious, forming a spatial pattern of "high in European and American countries and low in Asian countries." This study enriches the empirical research on the trade network of countries along the Polar Silk Road, provides new ideas for promoting trade cooperation and development of countries along the road, and is conducive to optimizing the trade network structure. It also provides a theoretical basis for China to rationally formulate the economic construction strategy of the road and the ways and specific implementation of trade cooperation with countries on that route. Future research could focus on the evolution and influencing factors of the trade network topology characteristics of countries along the road, with a view to better explore ways to promote the implementation of the Polar Silk Road initiative.

Key words: Polar Silk Road, trade network, complex network, community distribution

CLC Number: 

  • K901.4