CeMEAS Conversation: Wanjing Chen

CeMEAS Conversation: Wanjing Chen

Bridging Capital and Borders: Small-Scale Chinese Entrepreneurs in Laos and their new role

In this interview, Wanjing Chen (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology ) discusses the following questions:

1. What motivated you to research the impact of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) on local Chinese entrepreneurs in Laos?

2. What are the main development projects initiated by China in Laos, and how did these new large-scale investment schemes impact Chinese small-scale entrepreneurs?

3. How did local Chinese entrepreneurs boost their reputation to become trusted intermediaries for visiting Chinese investors?

4. You’re currently working on new research projects related to the Chinese diaspora and societal disengagement during the Covid Pandemic. Could you share some initial findings?

Wanjing (Kelly) Chen is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology. Her research investigates the interactions between China-led lowend and high-end globalization in the global South. Her working monograph examines how Chinese entrepreneur migrants reinvent themselves as intermediaries orchestrating Chinese investment flows to Laos since the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative.

This video was recorded as part of our ENLIGHT workshop ‘More than a Distant Relative: China and its Neighbors in an Increasingly Turbulent World.’