Most countries along the route of the “Belt and Road” initiative are faced with a shortage of water resources. However, successful implementation of the initiative depends on water availability to support economic and social development. We designed a water resources carrying capacity evaluation index system, assigned grades and weights to each evaluation index and calculated a water resources carrying index for the 65 countries along the route. We used virtual water theory to analyze China's net virtual water import from key bulk agricultural products through international trade. For more than half of the countries along the route, their water resources will be unable to support the economic development that will be necessary for fulfilling the goals of the Initiative. As a country with insufficient water resources carrying capacity, China is a net virtual water importer in the virtual water trade. This virtual water trade can improve China's water resources support capacity, and ensure China's water and food security for the future.
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