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Carolijn van Noort on China’s Belt and Road Initiative Narratives

Professor Carolijn van Noort from the University of West Scotland talks about her new book, which explores how China’s international political communication of the Belt and Road Initiative comprises narratives about infrastructure and the Silk Road.
September 23, 2021

China’s Belt and Road Initiative is a huge multi-continent undertaking and the subject of much attention in and outside of China. In her just released book, China’s Communication of the Belt and Road Initiative: Silk Road and Infrastructure Narratives, Carolijn van Noort examines China’s international political communication about the project. Professor van Noort argues that China’s aesthetic production of the Belt and Road Initiative advances China’s image as an infrastructure and standards-setting power. She writes that China works to create a narrative highlighting historical continuation of friendly and cooperative relations and China’s identity as good neighbor, good friend, and good partner. The book explores China’s selective uses of history in its presentation of the initiative and its specific communication efforts via its Belt and Road Forum and regarding specific projects in Kyrgyzstan, Kenya and the Maldives. 


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Carolijn van Noort teaches politics and public policy at the University of West Scotland. Her research focuses on the international political communication of rising powers. Her first book, Infrastructure Communication in International Relations, examined how rising powers communicate about infrastructure internationally. She’s published book chapters and articles in journals such as Global Society, Politics and Governance, and the Cambridge Review of International Affairs.

The event was moderated by Clay Dube, the Director of the USC U.S.-China Institute and Ben Lee, the Associate Director of the USC Annenberg School's Master of Communication Management program.