Stuart Baker ’21

China's Belt and Road Initiative and Opportunities for Cooperation

I've always been fascinated by foreign policy, and visiting family in the Philippines piqued my interest in Southeast Asian foreign policy. I initially read about China's "Belt and Road Initiative" in The Economist a few years back.

My Summer Signature project took my surface-level interest and honed it into actual research on China's foreign aid philosophy. Participating in the Summer Sig program has allowed me the freedom to conduct research on the philosophical implications of combining China's aid in developing countries with American and European aid. Even though I was unable to participate in an internship and travel back to Southeast Asia this summer as planned, I was able to invest more of my time in researching and thinking about the disparate philosophies in Western and Chinese aid strategies. I'm excited to continue my research in some capacity post-Peddie.

The Summer Sig experience gave me the freedom to explore my passion. There is no "formula" for this program; every Summer Sig is unique. Even with the onset of COVID-19, Summer Sig's flexibility allowed me to redesign my project so that I could research fully remotely. Stuart Baker ’21