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The Chinese State and the Belt and Road Initiative – convergences, conflicts, and capital

Webinar with Juliet Lu, Min Ye and Hong Zhang

Discussions of the BRI often focus on China’s “grand strategy”, the BRI vis-à-vis the investment initiatives of the US, and what the BRI is and means in a foreign policy or international relations perspective. In contrast, this event seeks to forward and discuss critical research by delving into the less explored and analyzed story of Chinese state capital expansion, state building efforts, as well as the role of Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in the BRI’s implementation and governance.

This panel is the second panel of the overarching event entitled “The Current Trajectory of China’s Belt and Road Initiative in Europe and Asia: Sharing Experiences and Insights”. The first panel, “BRI in Europe – Goals, Instruments and Side Effects” will take place on Thursday, October 21, between 17-19. This event aspires to facilitate productive discussions by inviting an expert panel of presenters, each of whom possesses knowledge of and experience with the BRI gathered through case studies, in-depth research, and first-hand impressions. In this way, the event will contribute fresh and grounded insights into the ongoing discussion of the BRI’s purpose, means, and trajectory.

photo of Juliet Lu, Min Ye and Hong Zhang

Juliet Lu is an Atkinson Center for Sustainability Postdoctoral Research Fellow, based in the Department of Global Development, with a focus on political ecology. She is also a Wilson China Fellow for the year 2021-2022. She worked in the past in research for development at the World Agroforestry Centre in Yunnan, China (2009-2011) and with the Centre for Development and Environment in Vientiane, Laos (2012-2013). Her research examines the political economy of Chinese agribusiness investments in Laos – primarily in rubber plantations – and China's rise as a global environmental leader and development partner. Her broader research interests involve the impacts of China’s growing demand for raw materials on land and natural resource management in Southeast Asia, and the political economy of Chinese development cooperation initiatives. 

Juliet is also co-host with Erik Myxter-Iino of the Belt and Road Podcast, which covers the latest news, research and analysis on China’s growing presence in the developing world. 


Min Ye is Associate Professor of International Relations at the Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University.  She was the Director of Undergraduate Studies at Pardee School (2017-2019) and Director of East Asian Studies at BU (2010-2014). Her research situates in the nexus between domestic and global politics and the intersection of economics and security, with a focus on China, India, and the regional relations.  Her publications include The Belt, Road and Beyond: State-Mobilized Globalization in China 1998 -- 2018 (Cambridge University Press, 2020), Diasporas and Foreign Direct Investment in China and India (Cambridge University Press, 2014), and The Making of Northeast Asia (with Kent Calder, Stanford University Press, 2010).  Min Ye has received grants and fellowship in the U.S and Asia, including a Smith Richardson Foundation grant (2016-2018), East Asia Peace, Prosperity, and Governance Fellowship (2013), Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program post-doctoral fellowship (2009-2010), and Millennium Education Scholarship in Japan (2006).  In 2014-2016, the National Committee on the U.S-China Relations selects Min Ye as a Public Intellectual Program fellow. In 2020, Ye was selected as the Rosenberg Scholar of East Asian Studies at Suffolk University. In 2021, Ye received Collaborative Development Policy grant on Digital Development in Asia at Boston University.


Hong Zhang is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the China Africa Research Initiative, Johns Hopkins University-School of Advanced International Studies, and a fellow at the China and the World Program at Columbia University in 2021-2022. Her research interests include China’s political economy, international development cooperation and foreign aid, and the global expansion of China’s national champion SOEs, particularly in the construction sector. She co-edits the People’s Map of Global China and the Made in China Journal.


Moderator: Tabita Rosendal Ebbesen

About the event

October 22, 17-19 CEST

Zoom webinar.
Register here for the webinar

tabita [dot] rosendal_ebbesen [at] ace [dot] lu [dot] se