Wong MNC Center Publications and Sponsored Publications

Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Blues: Powering BRI Research Back on Track to Avoid Choppy Seas

Jean-Marc F. Blanchard
This piece examines and critiques the massive literature on China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It details how research currently seems stuck on the road to nowhere. In addition, it identifies a number of the potholes that collective research endeavors are hitting such as that they are poorly synchronized. It also stresses that lines of analysis are proliferating rather than optimizing, with studies broadening in thematic coverage, rather than becoming deeper.

China’s Maritime Silk Road and Small States: Lessons from the Case of Djibouti

David Styan

This article sheds light on the factors shaping China’s Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI) in small states through a study of Djibouti and the MSRI. It also analyses the establishment of China’s first overseas military base and thus evaluates the military-security implications of Chinese MSRI ports.

Domestic Politics as Fuel for China’s Maritime Silk Road Initiative: The Case of the Gulf Monarchies

Jonathan Fulton

China’s involvement with the Gulf monarchies has been built upon an economic foundation. With the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI) this has expanded, as the Gulf monarchies see cooperation with China through MSRI projects as a means of advancing economic development programs necessary to move beyond single-resource rentier economies and relationships with external powers as a means of ensuring their security in an unstable region.

Ecuador-China Relations

Lorena Herrera-Vinelli and Mateo Bonilla

Two burning academic and policy questions in the study of Latin American and Caribbean- China ties relate to the effects of China’s rising trade, investment and financial presence on Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) country foreign and domestic policies. In this article, we study the case of Ecuador, focusing on Rafael Correa’s administration (2007–2016), as a way to delve into these issues. As conventional wisdom about the power of economics suggests, we find that Ecuador’s foreign and domestic policies have inclined towards China and Chinese companies.

Chinese Foreign Direct Investment and Argentina

Javier Luque

This article explores the political economy of Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI) in Argentina during the reign of Nestor Kirchner and Cristina Fernandez. Among other things, it contemplates possible links between Chinese outward FDI (OFDI) volumes and Argentina’s domestic and foreign policies.

Sino-Caribbean Relations in a Changing Geopolitical Sea

Scott MacDonald

This article focuses on Chinese-Caribbean relations, which have been marked in the early twenty-first century by an increase in bilateral trade and Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to the region. The relationship has been generally positive for both sides. However, at the same time, there are areas of friction including charges of Chinese “neo-colonialism,” similar to those leveled against Chinese ventures elsewhere.

“Myanmar’s Role in China’s Maritime Silk Road Initiative”

J. Mohan Malik

This article argues that the origins and theoretical underpinnings of Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative can actually be traced back to the mid-1980s, that is, almost three decades before the official media unveiled the Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI). It examines the changing role of Myanmar in China’s grand strategy in general and in MSRI in particular by undertaking an investigation of trade and investment relations. This analysis of the geo-economic and geo-strategic implications of MSRI is undertaken in order to offer a prognosis of benefits and costs for Myanmar.

“Regional Responses to China’s Maritime Silk Road Initiative in Southeast Asia”

Shaofeng Chen

Southeast Asia has sat atop China’s Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI). By and large, most Southeast Asian countries hailed China’s MSRI, but their responses to it have some variances. The article aims to analyze why they have differing responses. It contends that the primary determinant is changing domestic politics, specifically, ruling elites’ policy priority, degree of trust of China, leaders’ ideology and preference, and social response.

“China’s Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI) and Southeast Asia: A Chinese ‘pond’ not ‘lake’ in the Works”

Jean-Marc F. Blanchard

There is raging speculation about the potential implications of China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR)/Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) for the global order, spheres of influence and the positions of extra-regional powers. Much commentary is overly broad and lacks a clear and systematic method for examining OBOR/BRI’s future consequences.

China’s Maritime Silk Road Initiative and South Asia: A Political Economic Analysis of its Purposes, Perils, and Promise

Jean-Marc F. Blanchard

This book brings together a diverse range of responses to China's Marine Silk Road Initiative, which proposes to redraw the map of Asia, particularly South Asia. China’s 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI) is a massive scheme to connect wide swaths of East, Southeast, South, and West Asia through a dense web of interconnected hard and soft infrastructure involving ports, roads, logistics facilities, special industrial zones, and free trade and investment agreements.

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