Under the Water: Cambodian Artist Sreymao Sao on the Lived Experience of Hydropower Dams

In this article, we continue to explore how art can ‘unflatten’ our understanding of mega-infrastructure like the Lower Sesan 2 Dam (see Milne and Mahanty’s essay in this issue). We focus on the remarkable work of Cambodian artist Sreymao Sao, who explores the lived experiences of communities displaced by the Lower Sesan 2 Dam—some 5,000 […]

Download PDF

Ruptured Worlds: A Photo Essay on the Lower Sesan 2 Dam, Cambodia

Infrastructure is often introduced using basic facts. For instance, the Lower Sesan 2 Dam is Cambodia’s largest dam, located on the Sesan River, which is a major tributary of the Mekong. Other key pieces of information are that the project was approved in 2012, became operational in 2018, and has since directly displaced some 5,000 […]

Download PDF

China’s Overseas Coal Pledge: What Next for Cambodia’s Energy Development?

In September 2020, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced in a speech to the UN General Assembly that China aimed to hit peak carbon emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060 (Xi 2020). The statement focused on China’s domestic emissions, but in the months that followed, there was much speculation about what it would […]

Download PDF

In the Interstices of Patriarchal Order: Spaces of Female Agency in Chinese–Tajik Labour Encounters

‘What do you want? Shall I give you some cotton? Here!’ the young woman said to the Chinese worker, who passed by the fields to check the progress of cotton picking. ‘No, no. You, come, tonight, tonight,’ the man answered, using Tajik words. She smiled and shouted: ‘With whom? What would my husband think?!’ 
— […]

Download PDF

Railroaded: The Financial Politics and the Labour Puzzle of Global China

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 […]

Download PDF

Chinese Energy Investment in Cambodia: Fuelling Industrialisation or Undermining Development Goals?

In early 2020, Cambodian authorities fast-tracked approval of two new coal plants. Soon after, they also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Lao Government committing to purchase energy imports from two proposed coal plants in southern Laos. This marked a significant shift in the evolution of Cambodia’s energy planning, from a model heavily dependent […]

Download PDF

A Disappointing Harvest: China’s Opium Replacement Investments in Northern Myanmar Since 2009

The launch of the ‘Going Out’ strategy in 1999 precipitated more than a decade of rapid growth in Chinese outbound investment activity. From trivial levels in the late 1990s, Chinese outbound foreign direct investment (FDI) reached US$20 billion in 2006 before surging up to US$196 billion in 2016, according to data from the Ministry of […]

Download PDF

Between Economic and Social Exclusions: Chinese Online Gambling Capital in the Philippines

Under Rodrigo Duterte’s administration, Chinese capital has increasingly flowed into the Philippines. Much of this new investment has been in online gambling firms—a peculiar type of capital that is not involved in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and is even criminalised by the Chinese state. Drawing from field research in Metro Manila, this essay interrogates the anti-Chinese sentiments among Filipinos that have been stoked by online gambling firms. In examining the broader social reverberations of Chinese capital on Philippine society, it argues that Chinese online gambling capital generates specific forms of economic and social exclusions.

Download PDF

Contentious Embeddedness: Chinese State Capital and the Belt and Road Initiative in Indonesia

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.

Download PDF

The Thai Elections of 2019: The Rise of the Illiberal Middle Classes

In early 2019, Thailand’s military junta held elections for the first time since removing the elected Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from office five years earlier. The elections took place under a new constitution, which gave the coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha an insurmountable advantage. Ironically, some of Prayuth’s strongest supporters were the same middle classes that fought in the streets for democracy in the 1990s. The result is a Thai polity that can only be described as constitutional authoritarianism.

Subscribe to Made in China

Made in China publications are open access and always available as a free download. To subscribe to email alerts for each issue of the Journal, newly published books, and information about upcoming events, please provide your contact information below.

Back to Top