When Chinese president Xi Jinping announced the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013, this did not result in a wave of enthusiasm around the world. Initially called the One Belt One Road, or New Silk Road, it seemed to simply bring existing infrastructure projects under one heading. Less than 7 years later, the BRI can boast of 150 member states, attaining a foothold on every continent, and 600 billion USD of investments and loans. At the same time, it is subject to growing criticism from participating countries, as well as from those on the sidelines. How do countries perceive the loans and investments that they have received over the past years? Did it help them to achieve their own (development) goals, or are they merely pawns in a concerted effort of China to secure its growing need for commodities, food, return on investments and consumer markets?
Over the past year, twelve LeidenAsiaCentre researchers have investigated the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) from diverging perspectives. Some mapped how actors in different regions, including Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, perceive and actively shape this Chinese initiative. Others investigated a specific topic within the BRI framework, such as cooperation in the field of education, or China’s role in international economic and financial institutions. The findings of this research project will be presented during an interactive online session that is going to be live streamed on our website and freely accessible for all. The project will also result in a research report, as well as an edited volume (Amsterdam University Press) later this year.
The event will be live streamed below from 20:00-21:30 on our website, which includes an interactive Q&A session for which audience members can submit and up-vote questions during the event via slido.com, using the code “47537”.
Watch the live stream below: