Wong MNC Center News

October 27th, 2020
China’s Maritime Silk Road, Africa, and the Middle East: Feats, Freezes, and Failures is now publicized on the Palgrave MacMillan website. This edited volume, initiated and brought to fruition by the Mr. & Mrs. S.H. Wong Center for the Study of Multinational Corporations (Wong MNC Center), features contributions by a distinguished group of experts on Africa-China and Middle East-China economic and political affairs on topics such as Iran’s relations with China in the context of China’s Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI), Ethiopia’s involvement in the MSRI and its ramifications for Ethiopian foreign and domestic policies, and the distribution of MSRI benefits for East African states such as Kenya and Djibouti. The volume represents the third volume in a widely read series of books on China’s MSRI orchestrated by Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard, the Founding Executive Director of the Wong MNC Center.
October 27th, 2020
Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard, Founding Executive Director of the Mr. & Mrs. S.H. Wong Center for the Study of Multinational Corporations, was interviewed for a Financial Times story covering plummeting foreign direct investment (FDI) flows between China and the United States (US). The story described trends in bilateral FDI statistics, identified some of the reasons such as Covid-19 and tensions between Beijing and Washington for the depressed numbers, and noted some future risks. Asked to comment on the reasons for the dismal bilateral FDI flows situation, Dr. Blanchard highlighted the decline of major private Chinese players as one causal factor meriting special attention. The full story appears in Thomas Hale, “China-US Investment Falls to Lowest in Almost a Decade,” Financial Times, September 16, 2020. Copyright remains with the original holder.
June 1st, 2020
On May 6, 2020, Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard, Executive Director of the Mr. & Mrs. S.H. Wong Center for the Study of Multinational Corporations (Wong MNC Center) participated in a webinar organized by the China Analysis Group of the Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI). For this timely CEBRI webinar, which focused on the theme of “Asian production chains and technological decoupling,” and included participants representing institutions in Brazil, China, and the United States (US), Dr. Blanchard offered thoughts about the impact of the US-China trade war, US moves to decouple from China, and Covid-19 on the future of Asian supply chains, foreign direct investment (FDI) moving into China, Chinese outward FDI, contracting, and the related issue of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
April 14th, 2020
Mr. Kenneth Jarrett has joined the Advisory Board of the Mr. & Mrs. S.H. Wong Center for the Study of Multinational Corporations. He is a Senior Advisor with the Albright Stonebridge Group, a strategic advisory firm based in Washington, D.C. He previously served as President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai from September 2013 to December 2018. Prior to that he was the Greater China Chairman for APCO Worldwide, a Washington-based public affairs consultancy, and before that a U.S. diplomat. During his 26-year diplomatic career, his postings included Consul General in Shanghai, Deputy Consul General in Hong Kong, and Director of Asian Affairs at the White House National Security Council. Mr. Jarrett has degrees from Cornell University, Yale University, and the National War College. He is the recipient of the Magnolia Award (Silver) from the Shanghai government and is a member of the National Committee for U.S.-China Relations.
March 26th, 2020
Dr. Shaun Breslin has joined the Mr. & Mrs. S.H. Wong Center for the Study of Multinational Corporations as a Senior Research Fellow. Dr. Breslin is Professor of Political and International Studies at Warwick University (UK), Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, and Co-Editor of the top ranked Pacific Review. He is a well-known specialist on China and political economy. For more information, please see http://www.mnccenter.org/research-fellows.
March 26th, 2020
Dr. Pichamon Yeophantong has joined the Mr. & Mrs. S.H. Wong Center for the Study of Multinational Corporations as a Senior Research Fellow. Dr. Yeophantong is an Australian Research Council Fellow, Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales Canberra, and leads a project examining the impacts of Chinese resource and infrastructure investment. For more information, please see http://www.mnccenter.org/research-fellows.
February 11th, 2020
Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard, Executive Director of the Mr. & Mrs. S.H. Wong Center for the Study of Multinational Corporations, was interviewed for a Frankfurter Allgemeine, Germany’s equivalent of the Wall Street Journal, article published in the wake of the conclusion of the Phase I Trade deal between China and the United States (US) in mid-Januaruy. This wide-ranging piece asked why the deal was struck, which side won, and what is the likely direction of the China-US relationship going forward. Dr. Blanchard was asked for his specific assessment of future foreign direct investment patterns and stated that American firms would remain interested in China regardless of the fact that we have seen some investors leave for other destinations.
October 27th, 2019
Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard, Executive Director of the Mr. & Mrs. S.H. Wong Center for the Study of Multinational Corporations, participated in a EU-China Roundtable on “The Business of Trade, Investment, and Global Politics” organized by the University of Pittsburgh Asian Studies and European Studies Centers. At the Roundtable in Pittsburgh, held on October 24, Dr. Blanchard spoke about some of the challenges and opportunities for European businesses contemplating foreign direct investment (FDI) in China, highlighted some of the upsides and downsides of Chinese outward FDI for European firms, and discussed some of the potential gains and competitive pressures for European companies emanating from China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as well as paths they might pursue to maximize their gains. During a lively Q&A session, Dr.
October 27th, 2019
Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard, Executive Director of the Mr. & Mrs. S.H. Wong Center for the Study of Multinational Corporations, presented a paper on China-India Relations in the Context of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) at a seminar on “The Future of Sino-Indian Relations: Problems and Prospects” held at Heidelberg University, Germany in mid-October 2019. Dr. Blanchard analyzed China’s economic, political, and military reaction to India’s multifaceted and multilevel effort to boost its relationship with various South Asian BRI countries. Based on an evaluation of Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI), contracting, trade, aid, loans, diplomacy, military cooperation, and so on, Dr.
September 29th, 2019
Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard, Executive Director of the Mr. & Mrs. S.H. Wong Center for the Study of Multinational Corporations, was interviewed for a Asia Times story about the impact of Hong Kong protests on Chinese overseas foreign direct investment (FDI). The issue arises because a large proportion of Chinese outward FDI (OFDI), almost 60 percent, flows through Hong Kong. Chinese OFDI (COFDI) is already facing pressures because of increased sensitivites in host countries, project problems, and other factors. Dr. Blanchard concurred that COFDI likely would slow over the next few years because of these aforementioned issues and added that sensitivities pertaining to COFDI in infrastructure would be a special limiting factor as would budgetary problems in host countries. He observed, though, that Chinese firms would continue to win overseas contracts.

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