In recent years, China’s global push has presented the international community with new opportunities and challenges. In particular, the rapid influx of Chinese outbound investment into a variety of industries has been seen as either a blessing or a curse. Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative has been especially controversial since its announcement in 2013. If, on the one hand, this one-trillion-dollar development initiative received a warm welcome from political elites and interest groups in many of the over 70 countries involved, on the other hand scholars and civil society organisations have expressed concern over this new wave of Chinese investment.
Ongoing debates and attempts to map China’s investment activities abroad have largely taken a top-down perspective, depicting the issue through the lens of governance and industry, while attempting to provide a bird’s-eye view of the macro-level impacts of China’s global push. What is missing from the current picture is a clear and systematic understanding of the role that Chinese outbound investment is playing at the grassroots, particularly with regards to how Chinese-invested projects impact on local societies, economies, environment, and labour relations.
To promote a better understanding of what China’s increasingly prominent international footprint means for societies in the Global North and South, we are holding the third installment of the Made in China Summer School—‘Global China: Resistance and Adaptation’. The event will take place at the CISL Study Centre in Florence, Italy, from 13 to 17 July 2020 and will bring together scholars from all over the world for five days of discussions with trade unionists, international NGO activists, and students. The initiative will serve to lay the foundations for an international network of concerned scholars and civil society representatives with the aim of fostering international solidarity and knowledge sharing with regard to the social challenges emerging from an increasingly Global China.