One Belt One Road: Chinese Power Meets the World

Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Hoover Institution, Stanford University
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Most discussion of China’s One Belt One Road initiative (OBOR) focuses on overseas infrastructure projects. But the initiative is also a campaign of ideas to buttress Xi Jinping’s personality cult and entrench his domestic control. Discussing a chapter from his new book, Eyck Freymann of the University of Oxford shows how Chinese-language propaganda use historical analogies to explain and justify the OBOR scheme. Their subtext is that Xi Jinping is the spiritual heir to Han Wudi, one of the most glorious emperors in Chinese history. OBOR’s true objective is to restore a model of world order from centuries past, when foreign emissaries would travel to Beijing and prostrate themselves at the feet of the Chinese emperor, offering gifts in exchange for political protection.

Eyck Freymann is the author of One Belt One Road: Chinese Power Meets the World (Harvard University Press 2020) and a doctoral candidate in Area Studies at the University of Oxford. He previously worked as a research assistant at Harvard University and at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Global Center in Beijing. He holds an MPhil from the University of Cambridge, where he was a Henry Scholar, and an AM and AB cum laude from Harvard.

This event is by invitation only.



This talk is part of the History Working Group Seminar Series. A central piece of the History Working Group is the seminar series, which is hosted in partnership with the Hoover Library & Archives. The seminar series was launched in the fall of 2019, and thus far has included six talks from Hoover research fellows, visiting scholars, and Stanford faculty. The seminars provide outside experts with an opportunity to present their research and receive feedback on their work. While the lunch seminars have grown in reputation, they have been purposefully kept small in order to ensure that the discussion retains a good seminar atmosphere.

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