Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Searching for Answers Along China’s Belt and Road

Date and Time
Thursday, November 29, 2018 - 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Sanford 223, Rhodes Conference Room, Duke University Campus


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Jackson Ewing, senior fellow at Duke's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, will host and chair "Searching for Answers Along China’s Belt and Road" at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 29.

China’s touts its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as the largest international infrastructure project in human history. Drawing comparisons to post-WWII reconstruction in Europe, the BRI seeks to connect China to countries near and far over land and sea and is becoming a signature foreign policy enterprise for Chinese President Xi Jinping. Understanding this modern initiative requires considering China’s historical, cultural, and economic place in its traditional neighborhood and beyond.

This session will contextualize the BRI as a revitalization of China’s longstanding efforts to shape its role regionally and globally. It will show the ways in which the BRI seeks to extend China’s cultural influence and soft power, and demonstrate how the BRI reveals China’s growing influence within the global economy. Finally, the session will explore the BRI from the outside in, offering questions about its socioeconomic and environmental implications for recipient countries.


  • Jackson Ewing, The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions (moderator)
  • Prasenjit Duara, Dept. of History
  • Kang Liu, Asian & Middle Eastern Studies
  • Gary Gereffi, Sociology
  • Zaineb Qazi, MEM Candidate at the Nicholas School