Nottingham-Fudan Seminar: The Belt and Road Initiative

A18 Si Yuan Center
Monday 8th October 2018 (14:00-16:00)
The event is free to attend, but registration is essential. For more information, please email
Registration URL

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was launched in 2013 with the aim of boosting trade and economic growth, through the expansion of maritime routes and land infrastructure networks connecting China with Asia, Africa and Europe. Five years on, what impact has it had on the countries along the new Silk Road? What are the economic and policy challenges? Are there repercussions for other countries?

We are delighted to address these questions by hosting a joint seminar with four academics from both Fudan University and University of Nottingham. Each presentation will last 20 minutes, followed by a questions and answer session, chaired by Professor Katharine Adeney, Director of the University of Nottingham Asia Research Institute

1. "China’s Economic Development and Global Presence", by Professor ZHENG Yu

Abstract: China’s economic growth over the past half century is one of the most striking examples of the impact of economic reform and opening up to global markets. China has now arrived as an economic great power whose decisions have major effects around the world. This lecture will review the background of China’s economic development, introduce China’s recent international initiatives, and discuss their implications to the world.

Short bio: ZHENG Yu is a Professor at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs (SIRPA), Fudan University. He received his Ph.D. at the University of California, San Diego and a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University. Prior to joining Fudan, has had taught at the University of Connecticut as an Associate Professor. His research interests include international development, aid and investment, industrialization, and business-government relations. He is the author of Governance and Foreign Investment in China, India, and Taiwan: Credibility, Flexibility, and International Business (University of Michigan Press). His publications have also appeared in journals such as Comparative Politics, Public Opinion Quarterly, Socio-Economic Review, Studies in Comparative International Development, and others.

2. "How CPEC is being implemented in Pakistan", by Professor Katharine Adeney 

Abstract: By making CPEC the poster child of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China has invested a huge amount of political capital into making its investment in Pakistan a success story. In other words, whatever happens in Pakistan, the way in which the projects agreed under the CPEC umbrella are going to materialize on the ground will represent a potent example of how things will develop along the countries involved in the new Silk Road. In addition, with a growing debate on whether or not the BRI is a ‘debt trap’ for the countries involved and with a change in leadership in Malaysia halting three Chinese-backed infrastructure projects worth around USD22 billion, the domestic implications of the BRI are vital to appreciate.    

Short bio: Professor Katharine Adeney is Director of the University of Nottingham Asia Research Institute, and joined the School in 2013, having previously held positions at Sheffield, Balliol College, Oxford and the LSE. She is the editor of Asia Dialogue the online journal of the UoN Asia Research Institute, co-editor of the new Palgrave Series on the Politics of South Asia and was previously co-editor of Government and Opposition. She is a member of the REF2021 Sub Panel for Politics and International Relations. Her principal research interests include elections and democracy in South Asia, especially India and Pakistan; ethnic conflict regulation and institutional design; the creation and maintenance of national identities; the politics of federal states, and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. 

3. "Legal Consideration of the Construction of Shanghai Free Trade Zone/Port with the Background of the Belt and Road Initiative", by Professor Gong Baihua

Abstract:The design of Shanghai Free Trade Port (SFTP) should be considered with the background of the Belt and Road Initiative. The construction of SFTP needs the legal thought to manage some difficult issues. The special legal status of SFTP should be confirmed by the legislation. The so called “within the territory but outside the customs zone” should be interpreted by the statues. The “outside the customs zone” should be understood as the immunity from the tariff regulations but not the whole customs law. The free movement of goods, capital and personal should be assured by the detailed regulations as well as the goods free from the customs duty. The “negative list” model could be used in the SFTP freedom system so that it could enhance the transparency.

Short bio: Baihua Gong is professor of international law in the law school of Fudan University and associate dean of Shanghai Advanced Institute for Lawyers of Fudan University; and chair of international law section of Shanghai Law Society. Professor Gong is the director for the international law section of the Fudan “Belt & Road” Study Center. Baihua Gong got his LL.M degree from Georgetown University Law Center, U.S.A. in 1991 and his another LL.M degree from Law School Fudan University in 1987. Professor Gong teaches on international public law (including WTO law), international investment and finance law, drafting of international commercial contracts, legal negotiation at Law School Fudan University. Professor Gong is a part-time lawyer with a Shanghai law firm, also an arbitrator with Shanghai International Economic and Trade Arbitration Center.

4.  "The impact of BRI on the ASEAN countries, cases from Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore", by Dr Chun-yi Lee 

Abstract: The One Belt One Road (renamed Belt and Road Initiative or BRI) project initiated by Chinese President Xi Jinping took shape in October 2013. The initiative is to connect vibrant East Asia and developed Europe via the Silk Road Economic Belt, linking China with European countries via the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. Its ultimate goal is to facilitate trade and investment in Eurasia and promote economic growth. The BRI triggered great discussion within and beyond China, with the intention of placing China in an active role of global governance. So far there has been no systematic research to focus on the socioeconomic impact of China’s BRI on the Maritime belt receiving countries, this presentation will have an in depth discussion on this part.

Short bio: Dr. Chun-Yi Lee is an Associate Professor at the school of Politics and International Relation (SPIR) at University of Nottingham. Prior to join in SPIR, she was an Assistant Professor at school of Contemporary Chinese Studies (SCCS) at University of Nottingham from June 2013 to July 2016. Chun-yi was a ESRC research fellow from September 2011 to June 2013,post-doc researcher at Institute of East Asia Studies, University of Duisburg, Germany from 2010 September to 2011 October; a writing-up grant scholar at Modern East Asia Research Center (MEARC), Leiden University, the Netherlands from 2009 September to 2010 September. Her book, Taiwanese Business or Chinese Security Asset was published by Routledge in 2011.

Nottingham Confucius Institute

Room A23, CI Library
Si Yuan Building
Jubilee Campus
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

telephone: +44 (0)115 748 4502
fax: +44 (0)115 846 6324