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Most people attribute the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to Beijing’s imperialist ambitions. In her talk, Professor Min Ye will go beyond top-level rhetoric, however, and investigate BRI’s origins, its implementation, and its on-the-ground effects inside China. She will unpack different local governments' approaches to the BRI by discussing how subnational entities have leveraged Beijing’s grand strategy and how the implementation of projects and programs related to the BRI facilitate local economic agendas. China’s local developmentalism, which has undergirded not only the BRI but also other national-level strategies (like the Western Development Program and China Goes Global policy), has propelled the Chinese economy from a middle power in 1998 to a superpower in 2018. The talk will conclude with a discussion of COVID-19’s impact on China’s BRI as well as preliminary findings from Professor Ye’s current research into other state-mobilized development initiatives in China.
Min Ye is an Associate Professor at the Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University. Her research lies in the nexus between domestic and global politics and economics and security, focusing on China, India, and 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). She has received a Smith Richardson Foundation grant (2016-2018), the 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, Min Ye was an NCUSCR Public Intellectual Program fellow. Ye is currently the 2020 Rosenberg Scholar of East Asian Studies at Suffolk University.