Book Talk: One Belt One Road – Chinese Power Meets the World

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is one of China’s most discussed foreign policy initiatives. What is the BRI? How does it influence other countries? In this webinar, Freymann will give a presentation of his book and answer questions from the audience, in discussion with Özge Söylemez.

Illustration photo.

Photo: JuniperPhoton on Unsplash

International time: 22:00 Beijing, 15:00 Oslo, 09:00 (AM) Washington DC.

Sign-up for the seminar


Cover ImageIn this book talk, Eyck Freymann will present his book One Belt One Road: Chinese Power Meets the World, published in 2021. Freymann challenges several misconceptions about the BRI often found in Western media. For example, he questions the view of the BRI as a coordinated master plan for Chinese foreign policy, he argues against over-emphasising the backlash against the BRI from recipient countries, and he challenges the view of the BRI as a debt trap. His main case studies in the book are the BRI port cities in Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and Greece. The book also describes the BRI in Russia, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Iran.

Ultimately, Freymann argues that the BRI first and foremost is a campaign to restore an ancient model in which foreign emissaries paid tribute to the Chinese emperor, offering gifts in exchange for political patronage. 


Eyck Freymann

Doctoral candidate in Chinese Studies at the University of Oxford. Freymann’s research focuses on why democratic countries engage with China’s Belt and Road Initiative and how Chinese mega-projects influence their domestic politics.  


Özge Söylemez

Doctoral candidate in Chinese Studies at King’s College London. Söylemez’ current research focuses on Sino-Turkish relations in global economic governance with a particular focus on the Belt and Road Initiative. She will chair this book talk.




Heidi Østbø Haugen

The seminar series is hosted by Heidi Østbø Haugen, professor of China Studies at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages. She heads the ERC-funded project Brokering China’s Extraversion: An Ethnographic Analysis of Transnational Arbitration (Brokex).


Other events in the Brokex Autumn 2021 Seminar Series


China’s Economy: Challenges Created by the Reform Era

Date and time: 8 September 2021. 21:00 (Beijing), 15:00 (Oslo), 09:00 (EST). Sign-up.

Scott Rozelle: Invisible China: How the Urban-Rural Divide Threatens China´s Rise

Isabella Weber: How China Escaped Shock Therapy: The Market Reform Debate

Discussant: Wendy Leutert


Inequality in Contemporary China

Date and time: 6 October 2021. 21:00 (Beijing), 15:00 (Oslo), 09:00 (EST). Sign-up.

Reza Hasmath: Ethnicity and Inequality in China

Manfred Elfstrom: Workers and Change in China: Resistance, Repression, Responsiveness

Discussant: Jingyu Mao


China has Arrived as a Geopolitical Superpower

Date and time: 3 November 2021. 22:00 (Beijing), 15:00 (Oslo), 10:00 (EST). Sign-up.

Shaun Breslin: China Risen? Studying Chinese Global Power

Elizabeth Economy: The World According to China

Discussant: Amy Qin



The seminar is organised by Siv H. Oftedal, researcher at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, as part of the project Brokering China’s Extraversion: An Ethnographic Analysis of Transnational Arbitration (Brokex). The project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 802070) and the Research Council of Norway (project ID 275002). 

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Published Aug. 31, 2021 8:03 PM - Last modified Nov. 25, 2021 10:47 AM