The Belt and Road Initiative: Myths and Misconceptions of China’s Motives and Involvement

10 June 2019, Monday, 3.00 to 5.00pm; Lecture Theatre 5, Sunway University Building.

What are the motivations behind China’s push for the Belt-and-Road Initiative? This talk examines domestic political economy drivers of China’s grand plans to invest in infrastructure projects and expand investment overseas. It highlights domestic interest groups and political constraints that are often neglected in popular discourse. It also examines whether concerns such as the “debt trap diplomacy” is justified.

Speaker: Associate Professor Lynette Ong

Lynette Ong is an associate professor of political science at the University of Toronto, crossly appointed at Asian Institute, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. She teaches authoritarian politics, political economy of development and Chinese politics. She is the author or “Prosper or Perish: Credit and Fiscal Systems in Rural China” (Cornell University Press, 2012). Her publications have appeared in a wide range of Political Science and Asian Studies journals, including Perspectives on Politics, Comparative Politics, International Political Science Review, China Quarterly, China Journal, and Journal of Contemporary Asia, etc. Her opinion pieces and research have been featured in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, New Yorker, Economist, New York Times, South China Morning Post, East Asia Forum, etc.

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