Wilson Center Projects
“Green Development or Greenwashing? China’s Cooperation-Infrastructure Nexus in Southeast Asia.”
Juliet Lu is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Atkinson Center for Sustainability at Cornell University. She is a political ecologist who studies the implications of China’s investments in land and other resources across the world.
Her dissertation (UC Berkeley) explored the rapid rise in Chinese agribusiness investments in Laos, with a focus on rubber plantations. It highlighted connections between the Chinese state and companies (state and private) operating beyond its borders and the territorial and rural development implications of the tree plantation economy in Laos. It also illustrated how crops considered ‘strategic’ to national development shape livelihoods, environments, and trajectories of agrarian change. In her postdoctoral work (Cornell University) she is analyzing how emerging private sector, civil society, and state initiatives for sustainable rubber engage Chinese stakeholders and, vice versa, how Chinese actors along the rubber supply chain understand and adapt to these calls for sustainability.