Episodes
Juliet is joined by friends and fellow researchers Jesse Rodenbiker and Tyler Harlan to discuss their recent experiences at the COP15 of the Conference on Biological Diversity, China's growing environmental leadership, and China's domestic environmental policies and their impact on BRI initiatives and overseas engagements. Jesse starts off the conversation with some background on China's approach to environmental governance - based on his articles "Making Ecology Developmental: China's...
Published 01/18/23
Kyle Chan visits the Belt and Road Podcast to talk about state capacity in railway bureaucracies in China and India, his research collected while riding trains through the two countries, the incredibly mundane naming of Chinese companies, and much more. This episode discusses Kyle's research published in two articles:  Inside China's state-owned enterprises: Managed competition through a multi-level structure (2022) and The organizational roots of state capacity: Comparing railway...
Published 12/12/22
Published 12/12/22
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 Director of the Center for Global Information Studies and an Assistant Professor in Global Communication at Georgia State University. She is a...
Published 10/24/22
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 with co-authors Ben Mwangi and Lynn Hu, published in the article Socioeconomic impact of China's infrastructure-led growth model in Africa: A case...
Published 09/16/22
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 the global South (2021), which can be found here. Jeffrey Qi is a policy analyst at the International Institute for Sustainable Development's...
Published 08/09/22
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 Navarra, where he focuses on Chinese provincial SOEs and the Belt and Road. He is also the founder of Cowries and Rice, a Sino-Africa management...
Published 06/23/22
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 Post-Soviet Roads in Kyrgyzstan. Agnieszka Joniak-Lüthi is a professor of social anthropology at the University of Fribourg and head of the ROADWORK...
Published 06/10/22
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 of the Asia & Latin America Program at the Inter-American Dialogue. She created the Dialogue's China and Latin America Working Group in 2011,...
Published 05/10/22
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 down China’s overseas loans and the concept of ‘hidden debt’, explore potential future applications of the data, and more.   Dr. Ammar Malik is a...
Published 04/08/22
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 Diplomacy is one of many things we cover in this episode, listen in! Read more of Dr. Hofman's work:  Chinese Cotton Diplomacy in Tajikistan:...
Published 03/10/22
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 Agency.    Hong Zhang is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Johns Hopkins University's SIAS-CARI and a 2021-22 China and the World Program Fellow at...
Published 02/03/22
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 Build Back Better for the World (B3W) multilateral infrastructure investment initiative.  Juliet and Erik make the case that framing the two...
Published 12/15/21
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 Philippine and Indonesian political and economic elite to get a glimpse at how Chinese firms view the strength of a foreign leader, how that affects their...
Published 09/28/21
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 Emperor's New Road: China and the Project of the Century (Yale University Press -- Juliet's review of the book) Recommendations: Juliet: 1)...
Published 08/16/21
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 Chinese agricultural trade, subsidies, and export credit, combined with the increasing exercise of power by emerging powers coming to the...
Published 07/15/21
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 miss!   Julie Klinger is an Assistant Professor in the University of Delaware’s Department of Geography & Spatial Sciences. She is associate...
Published 06/22/21
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 organizations, journalists, trade unions, academics, and public contributors, the People's Map aims not only to improve understandings of global China...
Published 05/28/21
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...
Published 04/25/21
 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,...
Published 03/16/21
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...
Published 02/23/21
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...
Published 01/21/21
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...
Published 12/31/20
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...
Published 12/18/20
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...
Published 11/29/20