The recent launching of China’s high profile Belt and Road Initiative and its founding of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank have underscored China’s rapidly growing importance as a global player in development, diplomacy, and economic governance. To date, scholarship on "China abroad" has focused primarily on Africa and Latin America. In comparison, China’s investment and development assistance among its neighbors in Asia have been understudied, despite the fact that China’s aid and overseas investment remain concentrated in Asia, the countries of which have had complex and often fraught cultural and political relationships with China for more than a millennia.
Through case studies from Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Central Asia, this volume provides a targeted examination of the intertwined geoeconomics and geopolitics of China’s investment and development in Asia. It provides in-depth and grounded analyses of nationalisms and state-making projects, as well as the material effects of China’s "going out" strategy on livelihoods, economies, and politics. The volume contributes to understandings of what characterizes Chinese development, and pays attention to questions of elite agency, capitalist dynamics, state sovereignty, the politics of identity, and the reconfiguration of the Chinese state. The chapters in this article originally appeared in a special issue of Eurasian Geography and Economics.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The geoeconomics and geopolitics of Chinese development and investment in Asia Emily T. Yeh 1. Going West and Going Out: discourses, migrants, and models in Chinese development Emily T. Yeh and Elizabeth Wharton 2. Chinese engagement in Southeast Asian energy and mineral resources: motivations and outlook Philip Andrews-Speed, Mingda Qiu and Christopher Len 3. Resource extraction and national anxieties: China’s economic presence in Mongolia Sara L. Jackson and Devon Dear 4. Nationalism and anti-ethno-politics: why ‘Chinese Development’ failed at Myanmar’s Myitsone Dam Laur Kiik 5. “A handshake across the Himalayas:” Chinese investment, hydropower development, and state formation in Nepal Galen Murton, Austin Lord and Robert Beazley 6. Flowing goods, hardening borders? China’s commercial expansion into Kyrgyzstan re-examined Henryk Alff 7. Politics or profits along the “Silk Road”: what drives Chinese farms in Tajikistan and helps them thrive? Irna Hofman
Emily T. Yeh is Professor of Geography at the University of Colorado Boulder, USA. She is the author of Taming Tibet: Landscape Transformation and the Gift of Chinese Development, and co-editor of Mapping Shangrila: Contested Landscapes in the Sino-Tibetan Borderlands, and Rural Politics in Contemporary China.