China’s Belt and Road as Rorschach Test: Perspectives on China’s Global Ambitions

Colloquium | April 13 | 4-6 p.m. | 180 Doe Library

 Mary Kay Magistad, Director of Audio Journalism Department, Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley

 Juliet Lu, PhD Candidate, Department of Environmental Science, Energy & Management, UC Berkeley

 Center for Chinese Studies (CCS)

China’s leaders’ plan to build a ‘community of common destiny’ around the world, through building roads, railways, ports, dams, 5G infrastructure and more, is being read in different ways in different parts of the world. Some 120 of the world’s nations – about 60 percent – have signed on to participate in some way in the “Belt and Road,” or New Silk Road. Some welcome China’s investment as a way to turbo-charge economic growth. Others are less enthusiastic about being pulled into a new world order in which China is the hub, and increasingly sets the standards and rules.

Mary Kay Magistad, a former China correspondent for NPR (1995-99) and PRI/BBC’s The World (2003-13), who now heads the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism’s audio journalism department has, over the past year, traveled to countries around the world for a new podcast series that looks at how China’s global ambitions, investment and outreach are seen from different places and perspectives, and at the impact they’re having and could have in shaping our shared global future. In this talk, she’ll share some of what she’s seen and heard on the ground.

Cambodians displaced from their land by a Chinese port and resort development project in Koh Kong, protest in front of the Chinese embassy in Phnom Penh.