HHH capstone students present China research to Stimson Center (Wash DC)

Humphrey Students present capstone research on China at Stimson Center: A team of four Humphrey School students--Michael Blomquist (MPP), Collin Bradley (MPP), Madeline Welter (MPP) and Allen Young (MURP) presented the results of their capstone research on “China’s Foreign Policy in Fragile States" at the Stimson Center, a Washington, DC think tank.

The students’ work examined China’s policy in Angola, Venezuela, Nepal and Afghanistan. In all four there has been a dramatic increase in China’s economic activity—mostly investment in extractive sectors, exports of cheap consumer goods from China, and loans tied to infrastructure that help China’s economy, but in some cases also support shaky governments. In their research, the students came to the conclusion that, although China is increasingly active and financially supportive of many fragile state governments and more active in multilateral stabilization efforts, it still operates mainly to improve its own economic situation, to expand its global reach, and (in the case of Nepal and Afghanistan) to pressure neighboring governments on issues related to minority populations (Tibetan and Uyghur) who might threaten China’s stability. Despite China’s stepped up role in the world, it does not yet seem to have a clear governance approach to fragile areas, even where it is heavily invested.

The students’ research, while preliminary, will feed into broader policy research under way at the Stimson Center about the intersection of the issues of China’s role in the world and global approaches to fragile states, important issues for the US and the global policy community.

Mary T. Curtin, Ph.D.
Diplomat in Residence/Global Policy Area Coordinator
143 Humphrey School of Public Affairs
University of Minnesota 
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