Angela Tritto is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Emerging Market Studies, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. She is currently working on three interrelated research projects on the Belt and Road Initiative in Southeast Asia. Her research interests include management of innovation, environmental policies and technologies, heritage management, and sustainable development. She recently published several works in collaboration with a team of international scholars on the sustainability of the Belt and Road Initiative. Her past publications examine environmental innovations and the role of institutions in the management of World Heritage Sites in China and Malaysia.
This essay employs Polanyi’s concept of ‘embeddedness’ to examine post-BRI Chinese investments in Indonesia. Using the case study of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway, the article argues that key elements of this embeddedness can become active tools for policymakers to shape their strategy vis-à-vis Chinese investments. In particular, in the Indonesian context such elements include the deep-rooted anti-China sentiment, populist and protectionist tendencies, and the well-established presence of Japanese capital, in active competition with Chinese capital for influence in the country.