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Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard's picture

The Digital Silk Road, part III-A Scan of Effects Shows Mixed Signals

This blog is the last of three on China’s Digital Silk Road (DSR) initiative. The 1st gave an overview of the DSR while the 2nd probed some of DSR's features in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI) and contracting. This blog considers two potential political effects of the DSR, its effect on participant country relations with China and its effect on participant country political regimes and civil liberties. Regarding the former, there are concerns China’s DSR technologies will ensnare countries partaking of the DSR.

Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard's picture

The Digital Silk Road, part II-Dialing Down the Hyperbole

My last blog supplied a basic overview of China’s Digital Silk Road (DSR) initiative, part of its larger Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This blog represents a first cut at detailing the DSR. Unfortunately, as with the BRI, it is quite challenging to do so well. Reasons include the non-existence of a public, official list of DSR projects, the misclassification of technology-related foreign direct investment (FDI) in areas such as smartphone manufacturing and semiconductor packing and testing operations as DSR-space FDI even though they have nothing to do with connectivity, and the unwillingness of participant countries to disclose the terms of their contracting deals with China.

Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard's picture

The Digital Silk Road, part I-Cloudy Networked World Calling

China’s Digital Silk Road (DSR), which is part of the larger Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), came into being in 2015 and accelerated after 2017. Broadly speaking, the DSR promotes connectivity in the information and communication technology (ICT) space and encompasses projects relating to artificial intelligence, cloud computing, fintech (e-payments), smart and safe cities, and telecommunications. It is not entirely clear how many countries are participating in the DSR, though it has been reported that 16 countries have signed DSR Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with China.

Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard's picture

Circling around China’s Dual Circulation Policy, part III-Implications for China’s Outward FDI

This piece complements two earlier pieces that, respectively, overviewed China’s Dual Circulation System (DSC) and pondered its implications for inward foreign direct investment (FDI) into China. It specifically focuses on the potential ramifications of the DCS for Chinese outward FDI (OFDI). Prima facie one logically might expect the DCS to moderate Chinese OFDI since its goals include inter alia enhancing China’s indigenous capabilities, insulating China from an occasionally hostile external environment, and increasing domestic consumption and production. In actuality, though, these and other DCS aims do not support the premise the DCS will result in Chinese money shunning the outside world.

Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard's picture

Circling around China’s Dual Circulation Policy, part II-Implications for Inward FDI

In my December blog, I overviewed China’s Dual Circulation System (DCS). To reiterate, foreign multinational corporations (MNCs) are concerned about the DCS’s emphasis on self-sufficiency, indigenous technology, and insulating China against the international market’s vagaries. Foreign MNCs, though, also see opportunities to satiate anticipated growth in domestic demand and the needs of a presumptively wealthier population, facilitate China’s efforts to promote high-quality development through inter alia the provision of “technology-focused products and services” (as one Michelin China CEO put it), and to supply the materials needed for China’s ramped up domestic infrastructure and production.

Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard's picture

Circling around China’s Dual Circulation Policy, part I-Ins and Outs

In May 2020, China’s two-track “dual circulation” strategy (DSC) came to light. An internal circulation track—the “mainstay”—encompasses domestic consumption and production. An external circulation track entails more opportunities for foreign direct investment (FDI) and efforts to expand China’s external connections.

Dr. Amitendu Palit's picture

Resilient Supply Chain Initiative (RSCI) and its Prospects

Covid-19 is refashioning relations among countries. One example is the Resilient Supply Chain Initiative (RSCI), proposed by India, Japan, and Australia, which aims to assemble a coalition of countries, ostensibly middle powers and reasonably large economies, to restructure supply chains in a way that reduces economic dependence on China.

Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard's picture

Small Waves Precede Tidal Waves: American Sanctions on Chinese Companies involved in South China Sea Island Building and their Larger Ramifications

The United States (US) Department of Commerce recently blacklisted two dozen Chinese firms which it said, “played a ‘role in helping the Chinese military construct and militarize the internationally condemned artificial islands in the South China Sea.’” Companies listed included Guangzhou Haige Communications Group, China Shipbuilding Group, and China Communications Construction Co. (CCCC). The US State Department later accused CCCC and its subsidiaries of “‘corruption, predatory financing, environmental destruction and other abuses.’”

Dr. Hwy-Chang Moon's picture

More or Less Globalization? Thinking about the Real Lessons of Covid-19

Many contend the lesson of Covid-19 is the need to reduce global business activities, particularly the United States (US)’s dependence on China for imports of manufactured goods. They further assert American multinational corporations (MNCs) operating overseas, particularly in China, should return to the US, undertaking a so-called a “reshoring strategy.” The wisdom of such propositions, however, is open to debate.

Mr. Naoyuki Haraoka's picture

The Coronavirus Reveals Inconvenient Truths

The spread of international supply chains has played a key role in advancing globalization as well as enabling greater production efficiencies at multinational corporations (MNCs) because it has facilitated the division of labor. This has especially been the case where manufacturing industries, an engine of the global economic growth, such as automobiles, are concerned.

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*Blogs represent the views of their authors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Wong MNC Center, its Board of Directors, or its Advisory Board. They are intended for the non-commercial use of readers in order to foster debate and discussion and to facilitate and stimulate research.