It has been over six years since the idea of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was first publicised. While the importance of BRI has been widely recognised, its impacts are wide-ranging and controversial. This article, by first reviewing existing studies, is a preliminary effort to assess the BRI's effect on China's trade development. The authors' analysis indicates that, six years after the initiative's implementation, the changes in China's trade relations with countries along the Belt and Road are limited, compared to those with other countries. Data has also shown that there are huge variations across regions within the Belt and Road countries in their trade relations with China. More in-depth studies are needed to enhance our understanding of the BRI's overall impacts.