CHAIR: Robin Williams, Director of ISSTI, University of Edinburgh
• Huang Renwei, Executive Vice Dean, Institute of Belt and Road & Global Governance, Fudan
• Nele Noesselt, Professor of Political Science, University of Duisburg Essen
• Zeng Jinghan, UK Director of Lancaster University Confucius Institute
Jointly Building Belt and Road: New Stage and New Features
Huang Renwei, Executive Vice Dean, Institute of Belt and Road & Global Governance, Fudan University
At the seminar marking the BRI’s fifth anniversary last August, President Xi Jinping said that the Belt and Road initiative has sketched out a “freehand brushwork” and now it is time to work out a “meticulous painting” and steer BRI cooperation towards quality-driven development. The theme of President Xi Jinping’s speech is Jointly Building Belt and Road. It marks the passage of Belt and Road from the initiative into its construction stage. In this talk, there will be the following areas covered: the Combination of Belt and Road with the New Opening Strategy; the Strategic Importance of Belt and Road under the Background of Sino-US Economic and Trade War; High Quality Development of Belt and Road; Soft Resources of Belt and Road; Regional Governance of Belt and Road; Multilateralization of Belt and Road; Geographical Layout of Belt and Road; Industrial Chain and Geographical Layout of the Belt and Road; Digital Silk Road and 5G Network. With a conclusion: Micro-support for the Macro-strategy.
New Political Cartography of Eurasia: China’s Belt and Road-Initiative -The Eurasian Economic Union – India’s New Silk Road
Nele Noesselt, Professor of Political Science, Institute of Political Science and East Asian Studies, University of Duisburg Essen
In 2015, the NDRC, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China jointly issued a document entitled “Vision and Actions on Jointly Building Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road”, endorsed by the State Council. The PRC is, however, not the only actor promoting cross-regional connectivity. The PRC’s BRI roadmap has to calculate more than isolated bilateral arrangements with Central Asian states along the continental Eurasian Silk Road, as Russia continues to play a central role in the construction of the Eurasian regional order. Backed by the United States, India’s Prime Minister Modi officially proclaimed the idea to establish an Indian Silk Road as an alternative to the BRI. The US has likewise been reported to have launched new investment programs for (Eur)Asia in cooperation with Japan. This presentation undertakes a critical mapping of these multiple overlapping (and partly competing) “Silk Road” initiatives
Narrating China’s BRI
Zeng Jinghan, UK Director of Lancaster University Confucius Institute
China’s belt and road initiative (BRI) has been widely interpreted as Beijing’s grand strategy to build a Sino-centric world order. This presentation argues that this interpretation is problematic. It fails to capture the domestic contestation within China and overstates the BRI’s geopolitical implication. By studying Chinese domestic narratives, this article shows that the BRI is a very vague and broad policy slogan that is subject to change and open to interpretation.