Wanjing (Kelly) Chen is a research assistant professor in the Division of Social Science at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Her research focuses on the relationship between the state and capital in the ongoing globalisation of the Chinese political economy. Following the footprint of Chinese investors who are lured into Laos by the Chinese state’s vision of the Belt and Road Initiative, she demonstrates how their discrete and improvisational practices of investment collectively work to turn the initiative into a reality.
Chinese labourers have been a persistent component of Beijing-sponsored infrastructure projects overseas. Going back to the socialist era, they participated in the construction of ideology-based aid projects such as the TAZARA railway in Tanzania and Zambia in the 1970s (Monson 2009). Today, as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) unfolds, an increasing number of Chinese […]