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Strauss, Julia (2019) 'Of Silk Roads and Global Transformations: China’s Rise and its Impact on the Developing World.' The China Quarterly, 239. pp. 804-812.

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On a random Tuesday in May 2019, I found myself in Shanghai's Pudong International Airport, waiting in a fortunately short and quickly moving immigration line prior to a return flight home. Just to the right was an immigration desk with what appeared to be a new sign: a “Belt-and-Road” channel (Yidai yilu tongdao). There was no one behind the BRI desk. I was intrigued by this, but of course did not dare to take a photograph of the sign in a restricted zone. Twenty minutes later I attempted to log on from the airline lounge, and ended with failure. The relevant two-step process now involved a passport scan, the receipt of a registration number that required inputting an (overseas) mobile number and receiving SMS verification with further password. The juxtaposition of the fast-track but empty BRI immigration desk and the clunky double verification procedure to get online at all seemed to encapsulate much China's current position in the world.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Politics & International Studies
ISSN: 14682648
Copyright Statement: © SOAS University of London 2019. This is an accepted manuscript of an article published by Cambridge University Press in The China Quarterly, available online:
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2019 07:36

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