Policy Report

Corridors of Power: How Beijing uses economic, social, and network ties to exert influence along the Silk Road

Date Published

Dec 13, 2021

Authors

Samantha Custer, Justin Schon, Ana Horigoshi, Divya Mathew, Bryan Burgess, Vera Choo, Amber Hutchinson, Austin Baehr, and Kelsey Marshall

Publisher

Citation

Custer, S., Schon, J., Horigoshi, A., Mathew, D., Burgess, B., Choo, V., Hutchinson, A., Baehr, A., and K. Marshall (2021). Corridors of Power: How Beijing uses economic, social, and network ties to exert influence along the Silk Road December 13, 2021. Williamsburg, VA. AidData at William & Mary.

Version 1.0.1. This version corrects mistakenly switched the labels for Figure 5 in the previous version.

Announcement

This report analyzes Beijing’s efforts to cultivate economic, social, and network ties with 13 countries in South and Central Asia (SCA) over two decades. These ties foster interdependence with the PRC that have the potential to both empower and constrain SCA countries, while threatening to displace or diminish the influence of regional rivals such as Russia, India, and the United States. We marshal a robust set of qualitative and quantitative data to answer four critical questions: (i) How far does Beijing’s public diplomacy footprint extend within countries? (ii) To what extent does the PRC synchronize its economic and soft power tools in reinforcing ways? (iii) Is the PRC well-positioned to adapt its public diplomacy in the face of external shocks such as COVID-19? (iv) How do citizens in SCA countries view the PRC versus other great powers and do these attitudes diverge from their leaders? The answers to these questions provide an evidence base to inform contemporary debates about Beijing’s multi-dimensional influence playbook and how citizens respond to great powers jockeying for primacy in the region.

Translations

Коридоры власти: как Пекин использует экономические, общественные и неформальные деловые связи с целью оказания влияния в рамках  «Шелкового пути» 

Samantha Custer
Policy Analysis

Samantha Custer

Director of Policy Analysis

Justin Schon
Policy Analysis

Justin Schon

Senior Research Analyst

Ana Horigoshi
Policy Analysis

Ana Horigoshi

Senior Research Analyst

Divya Mathew
Policy Analysis

Divya Mathew

Policy Specialist

Bryan Burgess
Policy Analysis

Bryan Burgess

Program Manager

Vera Choo
Policy Analysis

Vera Choo

Junior Data Analyst

Amber Hutchinson
Policy Analysis

Amber Hutchinson

Junior Data Analyst

Austin Baehr
Policy Analysis

Austin Baehr

Program Manager

Kelsey Marshall
Policy Analysis

Kelsey Marshall

Junior Program Manager