Aaditee Kudrimoti Humanities and Social Science
POWER of Investment: Chinese-State Influence on Energy Planning in Xayaburi Province, Laos
Western political scientists and multilateral development banks (MDBs) are speculating about the extent to which Chinese development finance (CDF), specifically via the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) may support or challenge the Western-led global economic order. To determine the extent to which Chinese-led projects may conflict with Western liberal policy agendas and the global economic status quo, as well as whether or not BRI actions may create a debt trap for borrowers, we need more data on how the Chinese conduct development infrastructure projects on the ground, and how they interact with project stakeholders. My research will provide MDBs and political scientists with a foundational case study to assist them in developing theories of Chinese influence on the global economic order. I will carry out an in-depth case study of China EXIM Banks $1.7 billion loan to Lao PDR to build Pak Lay Dam, in which I will identify Chinese influence over regional energy planning. I hope that my project will contribute important empirical data to assess how CDF is affecting the global economic order.