Mingjie was born in Lanzhou, China. He received bachelor’s degrees in Applied Mathematics and in Economics from Wuhan University, China. He then pursued his research master’s study in the Individualized Interdisciplinary Program at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology with a full scholarship. In his thesis, he assembled a rich database at a high-resolution spatial scale and empirically tested the local impacts of China’s foreign infrastructure investments in Africa. His research interests broadly lie in development economics and environmental economics.