Less is More…The New BRI in Central Asia

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Dirk van der Kley

CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, Room S250

Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative has changed significantly in Central Asia in the last few years. In particular, direct Chinese government lending through Eximbank to Central Asian states has completely dried up. Instead the focus has shifted to smaller investment projects that create jobs for Central Asians and exports for Central Asian states, while also providing benefits for Chinese companies. This is a much tougher task than just building infrastructure. It forces Chinese companies to operate in challenging business environments in Central Asia in key sectors. This presentation will systematically examine how these changes are paying out in each Central Asian state. It will demonstrate that Chinese companies have their own agency. For example, they still try to shift debt burdens onto recipient states through hidden means or joint ventures with Central Asian state-owned enterprises.

Dirk van der Kley is the Program Director for Policy Research at China Matters, a public policy institute focused on the Australia-China relationship. He recently submitted his PhD on Chinese economic statecraft in Central Asia at the Australian National University.


Dirk van der Kley, Program Director for Policy Research, China Matters

Co-sponsored by the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies.

For more information, please call 617-495-4037.


The Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact us at 617-495-4037 or daviscenter@fas.harvard.edu in advance of your participation or visit.

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