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Juliet and Erik are joined by Maria Repnikova to talk about her book, "Chinese soft power," Confucius Institutes, China's love for spectacle, and of course, how all this and more applies to the Belt and Road. What is soft power? How is China doing when it comes to soft power projection around the world? Listen to find out! Maria Repnikova is the Di…
 
Keren Zhu talked with us about her research on the socioeconomic impacts of the Belt and Road, specifically with regard to Kenya's Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). She provides background and analysis on the SGR, she and Eric discuss their personal experiences riding the railway, and more! Much of the conversation centers around Keren's recent work wi…
 
Jeffrey Qi discusses China's growing role in high-level, high-stakes global climate governance. We discuss research Jeffrey conducted as a master's student in political science at the University of British Columbia and the resulting article he wrote with his advisor Peter Dauvergne, China's rising influence on climate governance: Forging a path for…
 
Erik is joined by Winslow Robertson and Owakhela Kankhwende to discuss their chapter of the book From Trump to Biden and Beyond: Reimagining U.S.-China Relations, entitled "U.S. Strategy Vis-À-Vis China's Presence in the African Continent: Description and Prescription". Winslow Robertson is a PhD student at IESE Business School at the University of…
 
Juliet and Erik are joined by Agnieszka Joniak-Lüthi and Zarina Urmanbetova of Roadwork Asia to discuss China's road infrastructure projects in Central Asia and their research at Roadwork Asia, including their article on infrastructural connections across the Toghuz-Toro district of central Kyrgystan Welcome and Unwelcome Connections: Travelling Po…
 
Margaret Myers returns to The Belt and Road Podcast to speak with Erik about the role and development of China's international insurance sector in Latin America and the Caribbean. The conversation is based on her January 2022 report from The Dialogue entitled Going Out, Guaranteed: Chinese Insurers in Latin America. Margaret Myers is the director o…
 
On this episode, Juliet and Erik speak to Dr. Ammar Malik about AidData’s Global Chinese Development Finance Dataset, Version 2.0. This dataset provides the most comprehensive data on China’s overseas development finance activities, covering projects over 18 commitment years (2000-2017). They discuss the trends and findings from the dataset, break …
 
Just across the Xinjiang border, China is investing in a range of sectors. Infrastructure and road construction are booming as in many other places, but cotton investments dominate and are seen as a distinct type. Cotton is considered a strategic crop both to China and Tajikistan and is embedded in a range of elite networks and state power. Cotton …
 
On episode 51, Juliet and Erik welcome back Dr. Hong Zhang to discuss the history, interests, corporate structures and agency of International Chinese infrastructure contractors. Discussion is based on Hong Zhang's May 2021 working paper for SAIS-China Africa Research Initiative entitled: Chinese International Contractors in Africa: Structure and A…
 
Juliet and Erik celebrate their 50th episode by discussing their first co-authored article "Beyond Competition: Why the BRI and the B3W Can’t and Shouldn’t Be Considered Rivals" (Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung) On June 12, 2021, US President Biden along with the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) launched their own “positive alternative” to the BRI - the …
 
On this episode Erik speaks with returning guest Dr. Alvin Camba about his latest research paper "How Chinese firms approach investment risk: strong leaders, cancellation, and pushback" (link to paper) This groundbreaking research uses hundreds of in-depth interviews with top officials from China, Chinese SOEs, state-owned banks as well as Philippi…
 
On the episode, Juliet and Erik speak with Senior Fellow and Director of the Reconnecting Asia Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Jonathan E. Hillman. Jon discusses the BRI in a historical context and talks about the way he's seen the BRI shift since its inception in 2013. The interview is based on Jon's 2020 book The Em…
 
On this episode, Juliet talks with Dr. Kristen Hopewell, the Canada Research Chair in Global Policy in the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia. Also a Wilson China Fellow, Kristen's work sheds light on how international governing bodies like the WTO and OECD can influence and be influenced by growing Chi…
 
On this episode Juliet and Erik speak with Dr. Julie Klinger about her research that smartly connects the seemingly disparate topics of geological surveying, Chinese domestic environmental and social movements, international infrastructure investments and China-Africa space cooperation. It's a fascinating discussion that you certainly don't want to…
 
A new approach to mapping the Belt and Road Initiative has arrived! The People's Map of China combines a broad, global representation of Chinese investments across a map of where they occur across the world with deep dive research into specific projects and their social and environmental implications. Designed by a coalition of nongovernmental orga…
 
In this episode, Erik is joined by Terrence Neal and Dr. Elizabeth Losos to discuss their recent report that uses Ghana's $2bn bauxite-for-infrastructure deal with Sinohydro as a case study to look into the environmental implications of BRI resource-financed infrastructure agreements. Read the full report here: "The Environmental Implications of Ch…
 
Juliet and Erik talk with research assistant professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology - Kelly Chen about her latest publication on the effects of Chinese infrastructure aid in Laos: hidden labor struggles, subcontracting, equity, and how it all came to a head with the Trans-Laos Railway project. Kelly dives into Chinese inter…
 
On this episode, Juliet and Erik talk with Margaret Myers about the growing importance of Sub-national actors in China's geo-economic engagement in Latin America and the Caribbean. Read the entire report "Going Local: An Assessment of China's Administrative-Level Activity in Latin America and the Caribbean" here Margaret Myers is the director of th…
 
China is not the only player in the infrastructure investment game. So how does China's rising engagement under the Belt and Road intersect with investments of other countries? Jessica Liao shares multiple examples in which China's engagement in infrastructure investments, as well as in other areas of export investment management (e.g. export credi…
 
Countries along the Belt and Road face major strategic technical and political questions when considering Chinese assistance in the telecommunications field. In this episode, Dr. DingFei discusses two articles on Chinese telecoms investments in Ethiopia. Through the lenses of Ethiopian state-Chinese company negotiations as well as employment practi…
 
Who makes decisions about project approval, design, and the pursuit of sustainability - in China, in recipient countries, and beyond? A recent report entitled, 'Belt and Road Decision-making in China and Recipient Countries: How and To What Extent Does Sustainability Matter?' breaks this question down artfully to trace the interests and institution…
 
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region is vitally important to China, particularly as a source of oil but also increasingly as a staging ground for China's forays into global politics. Lucille Greer (@Lucille_Greer_), an expert on China-MENA relations, sheds light on a range of topics from the role of Xinjiang in China's Islamic world relat…
 
China is a leader in global power generation - both through fossil fuel and clean energy technologies. Chinese capital has been involved in establishing at least 777 power plants across the world, providing 186.5 GW of power generation capacity. To track China's impact on global power generation, Boston University's Global China Initiative is launc…
 
Labor is a lightning rod for judgments of the benefits of the Belt and Road: Will Chinese projects generate work opportunities for the host country? Do Chinese employers follow different labor standards than others? When and how do workers speak out against poor labor conditions? Ivan Franceschini brings a few new angles to the labor question. He k…
 
Prof. Dr. Lina Benabdallah discusses her latest book, "Shaping the Future of Power: Knowledge production and network-building in China-Africa Relations." Lina looks at China's rise and the Belt and Road beyond the hardware investments - the major infrastructure projects which have been most emphasized. She compares three major types of professional…
 
In this episode, Dr. Tyler Harlan breaks down the discourses vs. reality of the green turn in the Belt and Road Initiative since Xi Jinping announced it in 2017. He describes the state of knowledge and realities of implementation of the three main aspects of the 'Green Belt and Road': green finance, green energy, and green development cooperation. …
 
How does Chinese capital alter center-periphery relations in Kenya? Can peripheral groups have meaningful agency with Chinese state entities? Who determines, and what is considered "local" in local content agreements built into Chinese-financed infrastructure projects? On this Episode, Erik sits down Elisa Gambino to speak about her forthcoming pap…
 
In this episode, Juliet and Erik sit down with Dr. Xu Liang from Peking University's School of International Studies to talk about his latest research that chronicles historical and modern-day ethnic Chinese garment production in Newcastle, South Africa. Dr. Xu Liang's latest article "Factory, family and industrial frontier: A Socioeconomic study o…
 
After a year of record breaking drought, the Mekong River water has level reached a historical low. Continued water stress, which is likely due to climate change, will permanently change the ecology of the region and water stress is already impacting the lives and livelihoods of millions of people across the region dependent upon the river. Propone…
 
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