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China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Southeast Asia: A Case of Laos
Individual Paper Presenter(s)
Middlebury Institute of International Studies, United States
Under China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Southeast Asia is the hub to connect it with the rest of the world. The US and China are also competing for influence in this region due to its strategic and geopolitical importance. There is no lack of publications on BRI. However, with few exceptions there is a lack of focused work that would allow more careful examination of how the BRI has been received in the 'recipient countries' and what factors have contributed to the variation from enthusiastic support, limited engagement and strong resistance. This paper looks at the domestic politics and policy preference of Laos toward BRI. It attempts to use extensive field work ( interviews and surveys) to address these two research questions: first, how has Laos responded to China's BRI? second, what has made Laos' policy so accomondating? External pressure or Laos' own policy choice ( or no choice)?