Given that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has penetrated most, if not all, fields in China and the countries along the road, this paper attempts to join the existing literature by providing a unique perspective (language planning) to understand the BRI and its impacts. The article presents the way in which the BRI has informed language planning policies among China and approximately 65 countries along the road. From an ecological standpoint, it proposes how BRI language planning aims at promoting and constructing a language-and-discourse ecosystem. Taking an interpretive policy analysis method, it analyzes policy documents and the existing literature by elaborating upon the planners, purposes and principles involved in designing the language planning initiative. Specifically, different ministries, departments and committees have worked together to propose a systemic, sustainable language plan for BRI; BRI language planning then serves communication, discourse power, global governance and socioeconomics purposes. Under the overarching ecosystem planning, specific planning principles, including Chinese language status planning, foreign language planning, language structure planning, language-in-education planning and language service planning, co-evolve to sustain the system. Instead of simply depicting the language-and-discourse ecosystem, this article also discusses challenges that BRI language planning initiative might meet along the way of its implementation, including the avoidance of making language unity the same as language imperialism, and continued efforts to balance language internationalization and language localization.
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