About the Books
Critical Reflections on China’s Belt and Road Initiative provides insights into China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) from Asia Pacific and the Middle East. It offers critical perspectives from various directions, not excluding historical investigations, human geography approaches and neo-Marxist inclinations.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) represents one of the biggest geopolitical visions since the Cold War and offers the possibilities of an intercontinental vision of Aid politics, along with prospects for Pan-Asianism. By and large, any geopolitical vision that purports to foster inter-regional dialogue and materialist development of peoples and economies is bound to have its flaws. The Belt and Road Initiative bears hallmarks of the socio-political tradition of Chinese authoritarian infrastructure politics while also offering a possible alternative to the so-called ‘Washington Consensus’ of free markets, deregulation and a shift towards liberal democracy.
Additionally, the Belt and Road Initiative opens up wide open intellectual spaces for dialogues between Asians, Arabs and Westerners on the meaning of inclusive inter-continental relationships in philosophy, geography and economics. The significance of this is often underplayed in Chinese official statements whereas this book introduces these possibilities within its assorted sections.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Impacts on Asia and Policy Agenda reviews the evolving BRI vision and offers a benefit-risk assessment of the BRI’s economic and geopolitical implications from the perspective of Asian stakeholder countries, using both qualitative and quantitative research methods.
Among the value added of the book is first an online perception survey of opinion leaders (policy makers, academics, businesses, and media) from Asian participating countries on various aspects of the initiative. To our best knowledge, the survey is the first of its kind. Second, the book presents the simulation results of a computable general equilibrium model of the world economy to estimate the potential macroeconomic impacts of the BRI as a whole and those of its constituent overland and maritime economic corridors.
Third, for each Asian sub-region (Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Central Asia) the book introduces the relevant BRI Economic Corridor, identifies the major projects and the major benefits and costs.
Finally, the book makes ten key evidence-based policy recommendations on how to enhance the prospect of a successful and mutually beneficial BRI 2.0 to both China and stakeholder countries.
About the Panellists
Alan Chong is Associate Professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. He has published widely on the notion of soft power and the role of ideas in constructing the international relations of Singapore and Asia. His publications have appeared in Contemporary Southeast Asia, The Pacific Review; International Relations of the Asia-Pacific; Asian Survey; East Asia: an International Quarterly; Politics, Religion and Ideology; the Review of International Studies; the Cambridge Review of International Affairs and Armed Forces and Society. He is also the author of Foreign Policy in Global Information Space: Actualizing Soft Power (Palgrave, 2007) and editor of International Security in the Asia Pacific: Transcending ASEAN towards Transitional Polycentrism (Palgrave, 2018). He is currently working on several projects exploring the notion of “Asian international theory”. His interest in soft power has also led to inquiry into the sociological and philosophical foundations of international communication. In the latter area, he is currently working on a manuscript titled ‘The International Politics of Communication: Representing Community in a Globalizing World”. In tandem, he has pursued a fledgling interest in researching cyber security issues. He has frequently been interviewed in the Asian media and consulted in think tank networks in the region.
Pradumna B. Rana is Visiting Associate Professor at the Centre for Multilateralism Studies of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Prior to this, he worked for 25 years at the Asian Development Bank. His last appointment at the ADB was Senior Director of the Office of Regional Economic Integration which spearheads the ADB’s support for Asian economic integration. He obtained his PhD from Vanderbilt University where he was a Fulbright Scholar and a Masters in Economics from Michigan State University and Tribhuvan University. He has authored/edited 20 books, and published over 55 articles in peer-reviewed international academic journals.
Rana recently co-authored books on China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Impacts on Asia and Policy Agenda (Palgrave Macmillan 2020), Jump-starting South Asia: Round Two of Reforms and Look East Policies (Oxford, University Press 2018), Asia and the Global Economic Crisis (Palgrave Macmillan 2010), and South Asia: Rising to the Challenge of Globalization (World Scientific Publishers 2009). He edited a book entitled The Renaissance of Asia: Evolving Economic Relations between South Asia and East Asia (World Scientific Publishers 2012), and co-edited books on Global Shocks and the New Global and Regional Financial Architecture (ADB Institute 2018), and New Global Economic Architecture: The Asian Perspective (Edward Elgar 2014).
Rana has published widely in internationally reputed journals such as the Journal of International Economics, The Review of Economic and Statistics, Journal of Development Economics, World Development, International Trade Journal, Journal of Asian Economics, Singapore Economic Review, East Asian Economic Review, Global Governance, and Global Policy.
James M. Dorsey is a Senior Fellow focused on the Middle East and North Africa who publishes widely in peer-reviewed journals as well as non-academic publications. A veteran, award-winning foreign correspondent for four decades in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Europe and the United States for publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and the Financial Times, James has met a multitude of the region’s leaders. As a journalist, James covered primarily ethnic and religious conflict, including some of recent history’s most dramatic events such as the 1973 Middle East war; the Lebanese civil war; the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the U.S.-backed insurgency that ultimately led to the withdrawal of Soviet troops; the Palestinian intifadas; the Iranian revolution, U.S. embassy hostage crisis and the Iran-Iraq war; the Iraqi invasion of Iraq and the toppling of Saddam Hussein; the Israeli-Palestinian peace process; the wars in Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Serbia; the armed struggles in the Western Sahara, Algeria, the Philippines, Kashmir, Eritrea, Tigre, the Ogaden, Chad, Niger, Chechnya, the Caucasus and Georgia; the Columbian drug cartels; the fall of Noriega in Panama; the wars in Nicaragua and El Salvador; the Kurdish insurgency in south-eastern Turkey, post-revolution Iran and Saddam’s Iraq; and the war on terror. James writes a widely acclaimed blog, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer, has published a book with the same title, and authors a syndicated column. He is a frequent speaker at international conferences, workshops and seminars and is consulted by governments, corporations and judicial authorities. James won the Dolf van den Broek prize in 2003 and was a two-time nominee for the Pulitzer Prize in 1980 and 1988 as well as was a finalist for the 2012 European Press Prize; the Kurt Schork Award and the Amnesty International Media Award in 2002 and the Index on Censorship Award in 2012. James also co-directs the Institute of Fan Culture of the University of Wuerzburg.
Gong Xue is Assistant Professor in China Programme of S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She holds a PhD in International Political Economy at NTU. Her current research interests include International Political Economy, China’s economic diplomacy, regionalism and governance. She has contributed to peer-reviewed journals such as the International Affairs, the Pacific Review, Contemporary Southeast Asia, Harvard Asia Quarterly. She has one co-edited book in Securing the Belt and Road Initiative: Risk Assessment, Private Security and Special Insurances Along the New Wave of Chinese Outbound Investment (Palgrave Macmillan 2018). She has also contributed to several book chapters on China’s economic statecraft, China’s corporate social responsibility and Belt and Road Initiative in Southeast Asia. She has contributed various Op-Ed articles such as the South China Morning Post, The Diplomat, and so on.