BRI Interview Series: Professor Dominik Mierzejewski on building a BRI hub in Poland

Professor Dominik Mierzejewski is the Chair at Center for Asian Affairs, Professor at the Department of Asian Studies at the Faculty of International and Political Studies, and a member of Asia Pacific Council, the advisory body for Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Professor Mierzejewski researches China-Central and Eastern European relations and also pioneers research on the role of the local governments within China’s Belt and Road Initiative. He also closely cooperates with the government of the city of Lodz and government of the Lodzkie region (Poland) in developing relationships with Chinese partners.

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Belt and Road in Rwanda: Private Sector Leads the Way

China is betting on Rwanda, and the way in which it is doing so tells us something about the Belt and Road. China’s outreach to Rwanda is primarily smaller in scale, localized, and centered on the private sector. Smaller firms and the private sector are the taking the lead in industries ranging from agriculture to technology. These deals rarely grab headlines in the same way as massive infrastructure or resource investments, but they are nonetheless important for growth.

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China, Russia, and the Case of the Missing Bridge

Few regions embody the modern currents of Sino-Russian relations better than the Heihe-Blagoveshchensk border. As recently as 1969, this border region was a battleground in a border war between the two countries and a source of deep mutual mistrust. Fast forward almost 50 years, and it has seemingly been transformed into a picturesque backdrop for the two countries’ mutual détente. Heihe, situated along China’s 4,200 km border with Russia, sits dramatically opposite its Russian counterpart, Blagoveshchensk, the two cities divided only by the river that meanders between them, known in Chinese as the Heilongjiang and in Russian as the Amur.

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