21 Oct 2015

Neighbouring China: What does China’s rise mean for people living along its borders?

Paper presented at the Asia Center, School of Global Studies, University of Sussex

Martin Saxer


While the PRC’s economic development and geopolitical ambitions attract much public interest, a related issue receives far less attention: What does China’s rise mean for its immediate neighbours? What are the effects of China’s rise on the lifestyles and micro-economies of communities living along its borders? These are the questions I addressed in my project Neighbouring China: Old Connections, New Dynamics (2011-2015).

Taking stock of the findings of this project, I present cases from Central Asia, the Himalayas and the Southeast Asian Massiv. These cases reveal much common history, yet they also show considerable variety I suggest two concepts – pathways and cartographic anxieties – as analytical dimensions to make sense of the commonalities and differences in which neighbouring China is experienced and practiced in different along China's 22,000km of land borders.

Seasonal trade mart in Humla, Nepal. © 2012 Martin Saxer


A recording of this talk can be found here.

Highland Asia Research Group
LMU, Social and Cultural Anthropology, Oettingenstr. 67
80538 Munich, Germany
martin.saxer@lmu.de | +49 89 2180 9639

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