ADRi vTHD: “BRI and Corrosive Capital: Mitigating Corruption Risks in the Philippines”

In 2013, President Xi Jinping introduced the Belt and Road initiative (BRI), China’s long-term policy and investment program designed to engage neighboring states and regions through infrastructure development. Covering an expanse of nearly 70 countries and 65% of the global population, China is looking to accelerate infrastructure development with partner countries and invest up to $900 billion over the next decade, broadening its global economic influence.

Although branded as a “win-win” program, the BRI has drawn criticism from the international community for its lack of transparency and disregard of democratic values such as human rights and the rule of law. Serious concerns have also been raised about the program’s “predatory financing” and its possible implications on the security and sovereignty of its partner countries. Despite the global backlash, President Xi Jinping has continued to promote his global infrastructure initiative, demonstrating China’s desire to protect its national interests and contest international norms.

In line with this, the Stratbase ADR Institute (ADRi), organized a virtual town hall discussion that examined and discussed BRI’s impact on Southeast Asian countries, particularly the Philippines, and the effect of “corrosive capital” on public governance and democratic institutions. In addition, the program highlighted the four case studies conducted by ADRi in partnership with the Center for International Private Enterprise (CiPE), which includes Chinese-funded infrastructure projects such as the New Centennial Water Source Kaliwa Dam Project and the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project. The program also covered significant areas, including the country’s regulatory environment, ODAs, and PPP.


Opening Remarks

Dr. Francisco Magno
Trustee and Program Convenor, Stratbase ADR Institute;
Professor, De La Salle University;
Senior Fellow, La Salle Institute of Governance

Keynote Address

Justice Conchita Carpio Morales
Former Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the Philippines
Former Ombudsman, Office of the Ombudsman

Contextualizing China’s Economic Statecraft

Dr. Renato de Castro
Trustee and Program Convenor, Stratbase ADR Institute;
Professor, De La Salle University

Corruption and Corrosive Capital in SEA

Mr. John Morrell
Regional Director, Asia and the Pacific,
Center for International Private Enterprise (CiPE)

Redefining Governance to Address Corrosive Capital

Comm. Heidi Mendoza
Former Undersecretary General, UN Office of Internal Oversight;
Former Commissioner, Commission on Audit

BRI and Chinese Investments: The Philippine Experience

Prof. Edwin Santiago
Fellow, Stratbase ADR Institute;
Professor, De La Salle University

China’s Political Trap: Beyond the Debt Trap Diplomacy

Dr. Alvin Camba
Non-Resident Fellow, Stratbase ADR Institute;
Incoming Assistant Professor, Korbel School, University of Denver

Participation and Intervention: The Role of Civil Society in Ensuring Transparency and Accountability

Atty. Terry Ridon
Non-Resident Fellow, Stratbase ADR Institute;
Convenor, InfraWatch PH

Post-Duterte: The Implications of China Pivot for the Next Administration

Mr. Richard Heydarian
Non-Resident Fellow, Stratbase ADR Institute;
Professorial Chairholder in Geopolitics,
Polytechnic University of the Philippines

Closing Remarks

Prof. Victor Andres “Dindo” Manhit
President, Stratbase ADR Institute

Hose & Moderator:
Mr. Francesco “Paco” A. Pangalangan
Executive Director, Stratbase ADR Institute;
Convenor, Democracy Watch Philippines

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