Accepted paper:

Belts and roads of development: Chinese investments under the BRI framework in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan

Authors:

Oyuna Baldakova (Free University of Berlin)

Paper short abstract:

This paper offers a study of Chinese investments (official and private capital) under the Belt and Road Initiative's (BRI) framework in two countries of Central Asia - Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan and argues that the Chinese investment strategy varies across its BRI partners.

Paper long abstract:

China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has attracted heightened international attention and inspired polarizing interpretations. Critics believe that the initiative could be a 'debt trap' and has a capacity to extract geo-strategic concessions from its debtors. Whereas admirers contend that China, drawing from its own experience, could help countries of the Global South tackle their structural bottlenecks and eventually enable them to repeat the trajectory of China's rapid economic growth. This paper offers a framework of analysis of the Chinese investments (official and private capital) under the Belt and Road Initiative's (BRI) framework in two countries of Central Asia - Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan and argues that the Chinese investment strategy varies across its BRI partners. To carry out this analysis, relevant primary documents, secondary literature, and statistical datasets of relevant national agencies were analysed. Furthermore, during my fieldwork at Peking University in China and KIMEP University in Kazakhstan from February till October 2018, I conducted semi-structured interviews with more than 60 experts and practitioners of different academic and institutional backgrounds.

panel H1
The political economy of development under the Chinese Belt Road Initiative (BRI) [paper]