Transparent Development Footprints

Program Overview

As China's engagement with the world has changed, so too has AidData's research. We have broken new ground to quantifiably measure a much broader range of China's activities than had been previously attempted before. We have systematically quantified key dimensions of Chinese public diplomacy and influence with foreign leaders and publics.

The Corridors of Power 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.

Updates to AidData's China Public Diplomacy Dashboard let users dive into China’s soft power toolkit for 38 countries across Asia and the Pacific. With these new updates, you can track its financial diplomacy at the subnational level and access detailed country profiles for a bird's-eye view of China's influence instruments.

Featured Publications

Policy Report

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

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


Policy Report

Silk Road Diplomacy: Deconstructing Beijing's toolkit to influence South and Central Asia

Samantha Custer, Tanya Sethi, Jonathan A. Solis, Joyce Jiahui Lin, Siddhartha Ghose, Anubhav Gupta, Rodney Knight, Austin Baehr


Policy Report

Influencing the Narrative: How the Chinese government mobilizes students and media to burnish its image

Samantha Custer, Mihir Prakash, Jonathan A. Solis, Rodney Knight, Joyce Jiahui Lin


Policy Report

Ties That Bind: Quantifying China's public diplomacy and its "good neighbor" effect

Samantha Custer, Brooke Russell, Matthew DiLorenzo, Mengfan Cheng, Siddhartha Ghose, Jacob Sims, Jennifer Turner, Harsh Desai


Program Team

For technical or research inquires, contact:

Policy Analysis

Samantha Custer

Director of Policy Analysis

Policy Analysis

Ana Horigoshi

Senior Research Analyst

Policy Analysis

Jonathan A. Solis

Research Scientist

Policy Analysis

Brook Lautenslager

Deputy Director for Data Analytics and Technology Solutions

Policy Analysis

Divya Mathew

Senior Policy Specialist

Alex Wooley

Director of Partnerships and Communications