Analysis

Even if Belt and Road investment declines in the future, whether for political or economic reasons, the influence of Chinese constructors and planners on regional markets will continue to be apparent, from the alignment of high-speed railways in Indonesia to the design of residential and commercial developments in city centers.

Christian Zhang

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Featured

Influence and Infrastructure

| By Jonathan E. Hillman

With an eye toward illuminating current issues, this report draws from examples throughout history of how states use foreign infrastructure to advance strategic objectives. It shows how China is updating and exercising tactics used by Western powers during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and how these issues, and the strategic implications they carry, are likely to intensify in the coming years.

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Corruption Flows Along China’s Belt and Road

| By Jonathan E. Hillman

Until Chinese officials improve transparency standards, the international community should provide better alternatives to Chinese infrastructure loans and publicize the perils of opaque approaches to building infrastructure. Leaders in recipient countries must also demand greater transparency -- or risk drowning in the murky waters of China's Belt and Road Initiative.

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How Is China Securing Its LNG Needs?

| By Nikos Tsafos

In 2017, China surpassed South Korea to become the world’s second-largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) importer. In a few years, it might overtake Japan. But how is China securing its LNG needs?

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Browse our analysis section for news and articles on topics such as China's Belt and Road Initiative (OBOR), the Competing Visions of Japan, India, and other regional powers, and the stakes for U.S. policy.

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In The News

China’s BRI Faces Domestic Concerns

Increasing criticism towards China's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) coupled with China's economic squeeze has prompted Chinese skeptics of BRI to quietly ask if their government is ...

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China's Vision for a Global Grid

| By Edmund Downie

In 2015, Chinese president Xi Jinping debuted a plan at the UN to knit the world's energy grids, currently fragmented along national lines, into a single global network. In ...

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The Blue Belt and Road

| By Scott Moore

One of China's Belt and Road Initiative's biggest environmental impacts may be on the world’s water. Should BRI projects strain the world's water resources, the initiative ...

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Illustrating History & Ambition

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Competing Visions

See tomorrow's supercontinent through the eyes of regional powers.

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Historical Atlas

Explore the rise and fall of trade, technology, and civilizations.