Yenching Scholars Set Up Blog on the Belt and Road Initiative


Three 2016 Yenching Scholars have recently founded a blog that discusses the Belt & Road Initiative (www.beltandroad.blog). The scholars are: Grzegorz Stec (Poland, University of Oxford), Maximilian Romer (Germany, Hertie School of Governance) and Ravi Prasad (United Kingdom, University of Cambridge).

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The Belt & Road (BRI) Initiative was conceived by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013. At its core, the initiative is a global infrastructure project that has the potential to catalyze development in countries around the world. Whilst still in its early stages, multiple billions of dollars have already been invested as part of the initiative. The recent BRI Summit in Beijing caught the attention of the world; President Xi Jinping described it as the “project of the century”.

As the founders said, “We set up the blog after many thought-provoking conversations on the Belt and Road Initiative.  The Yenching Academy provided a platform for us to come together, listen and learn from experts on the BRI, and form our own views and ideas. The blog has had a successful first few months, having been read globally. We hope to sustain this momentum going forward, and welcome guest contributions too.”

About the founders

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Grzegorz Stec (葛瑞) 

Researches ties between China and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), in particular the 16+1 China-CEE Initiative, which seeks synergies with the Belt and Road Initiative. Grzegorz is an Associate Researcher at the European Institute of Asian Studies in Brussels. He was recently recognized by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences as having made “remarkable contributions” in the field of China and Central & Eastern European relations. 


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Maximilian Römer (麦礼安)

Researches the sustainability of the Belt and Road Initiative. Specifically, he researches possible risks for the environment in Central Asia that might arise as the BRI moves forward. Furthermore, he looks for ways in which Europe and China can collaborate on the initiative. Previously, Maximilian worked for the International Energy Agency in Paris.


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Ravi Prasad (潘睿飞) 

A Research Associate at the Institute for New Structural Economics in Beijing. He has a keen interest in the confluence of finance, infrastructure and economic development. He has undertaken projects in African countries, focusing on infrastructure financing and the manufacturing sector in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative. Ravi previously worked for Goldman Sachs and HM Treasury.