The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an ambitious Chinese program to influence global affairs through geoeconomics. Since its inception in 2013, it has become fundamental to understanding China’s grand strategy. Eight years later the BRI has over 145 member countries, many of whom seek infrastructure development. This pre-submission seminar by Pete Connolly examines changes in Chinese statecraft across Timor-Leste, PNG, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji, since the introduction of the BRI in 2018 and 2019.
The blue economy has burst onto the global stage as the latest trend in ocean governance and management. Promoted as an agenda of sustainable ocean development, the blue economy promises to drive improved engagement with oceans across social, economic and environmental dimensions. Of particular allure is the agenda’s assertion that socioeconomic development can be decoupled from environmental degradation, enabling an expansion and intensification of ocean industries with supposedly minimal impact on marine ecosystems.