China’s “Belt & Road” initiative in the context of global restructuring
Map Library, Rm10.10, 10/F, The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU
David R. Meyer Olin Business School, Washington University in St. Louis, Saint Louis, Missouri USA
About the Speaker:
David Meyer is Senior Lecturer in Management at Olin Business School, Washington University in St. Louis, teaching international business, with a focus on Asia. Prior to this he was Professor of Sociology & Urban Studies at Brown University. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago. His publications include five books and monographs and over sixty articles and book chapters. His book, Hong Kong as a Global Metropolis (Cambridge University Press, 2000), interpreted that city as the pivot of Asian business networks. Recent publications include network governance at the State Banks of China, banking networks of Asian financial centers, private wealth management in Asia, high-frequency trading on exchanges, Hong Kong and Singapore as network hubs of global capital, Shenzhen in China’s financial center networks, Hong Kong’s enduring global business relations, Bank of China International in Hong Kong, Hong Kong and Singapore exchanges confront high frequency trading, and Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing: China’s Contenders for Global Financial Centre Leadership. Currently, he is finishing a book on the network behavior of global financiers.
China’s “Belt & Road” initiative is transforming global economic integration, especially across Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, and also extending to Africa. The supply chain linkages are embodied in the Silk Road Economic Belt and New Maritime Silk Road. A key part of the initiative aims to propel economic development within Asia, a process never significantly supported by the countries of Asia or by external actors, especially in Europe and North America. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which is organized like a typical multilateral development bank, is headed by an elite group of experienced financial and development executives. It serves as enabler of the development process and expansion of infrastructure. This seed money supplements even larger sums from governments and private sector actors who supply most of the capital. Successful implementation of the initiative will accelerate Eurasian, Middle East, and African development and lead to greater economic integration and restructuring of global supply chains. China’s strategy is to draw on the global financial expertise in London and Hong Kong to identify and organize the vast amounts of capital that will be needed for “Belt & Road” projects. China’s initiative is viewed as a threat by the United States to its global hegemony, and the trade war it commenced with China is one manifestation of United States policy. Nonetheless, the relative importance of the United States to China’s economy and its trade is diminishing. The countries of the “Belt & Road” will comprise an increasing share of China’s future economic growth and trade.
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