China’s BRI and Southeast Asia: Separating Fact from Fiction

Wednesday, October 11, 2023
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Philippines Room, Encina Hall 3rd floor, Room C330
616 Jane Stanford Way, Stanford, CA 94305

  • Min Ye, Professor of International Relations at Boston University,
  • Gita Wirjawan, former Minister of Trade of the Republic of Indonesia,
  • David Gordon, Senior Adviser for Geo-economics and Strategy at the International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Jean Oi, William Haas Professor of Chinese Politics at Stanford University
China Progam Oct 11 event

This panel brings together experts, policymakers, and academics to critically examine the impact and realities of China's ambitious infrastructure project in the Southeast Asian region. Panelists will delve into the actual projects implemented under the BRI, analyzing their successes and challenges, while also addressing the misconceptions and myths surrounding the initiative. Key topics of discussion will include the economic benefits and potential risks for Southeast Asian countries, the extent of China's influence and involvement in regional affairs, and the overall implications for regional connectivity and cooperation. By providing evidence-based insights and unbiased analysis, the panel will bring a clearer understanding of China's BRI in Southeast Asia.

David Gordon provides direction and leadership to the IISS multi-year project on China’s Belt and Road Initiative. He also supports the Institute’s program on Geo-economics and Strategy. He writes extensively on global political and economic risks, great-power rivalry and US foreign and national security policy. Prior to joining IISS, David had a long career in both government and the private sector. He served as director of policy planning in the US State Department and as vice-chair of the US National Intelligence Council. After leaving government service, he was chairman and head of research for the global political risk advisory firm Eurasia Group. David received his bachelor's degree from Bowdoin College, and his master's and PhD from the University of Michigan. He has taught at Michigan, Michigan State, the University of Nairobi and Georgetown.

Jean C. Oi is the William Haas Professor of Chinese Politics in the Department of Political Science and a Senior Fellow of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) at Stanford University. A Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Michigan, she directs the China Program at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center and is the Lee Shau Kee Director of the Stanford Center at Peking University. She also is the current President of the Association for Asian Studies.

Gita Wirjawan is an educator and host of the podcast “Endgame.” He is a visiting scholar at the Walter Shorenstein Asia Pacific Research Center, Freeman Spogli Institute, Stanford University. He is also the founder and chairman of Ancora Group, a partner of Ikhlas Capital, a Southeast Asia focus private equity fund, and advisor to a number of Southeast Asia based venture capital firms. Previously, he served as Minister of Trade and Chairman of Investment Coordinating Board in the Indonesian government from 2009-2014.

Min Ye is a Professor of International Relations at the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University.  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 regional relations. Professor Ye’s areas of expertise include Chinese political economy, China and India comparison, East Asian international relations, and globalization with focuses on transnational immigration and foreign investment.