15 Asia-Pacific countries, including China, Japan, and all 10 ASEAN states, have signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) pact, which creates common rules and standards for cross-border investment, e-commerce, and trade, Nikkei reports.
This paper discusses the geopolitical dynamics of the Indo-Pacific, including the impacts of Covid-19, and emerging foreign policy initiatives, and offers recommendations for how Japan can solidify a comprehensive leadership role in this critical, multipolar region.
Browse our analysis section for news and articles on topics such as China's Belt and Road Initiative (OBOR), the world's evolving digital infrastructure competition, and the stakes for U.S. policy.
Thailand is leading ASEAN in the provision of 5G services after increased demand for telemedicine, teleworking, and faster internet speeds in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has led the country's telecommunications companies to expedite their 5G rollout plans.
China says that the Belt and Road Initiative will not be impacted by COVID-19, and has continued to commit to new infrastructure projects in Southeast Asia. While experts suggest that China's slowing economy will lead the Chinese government to prioritize domestic spending, Southeast Asia is likely to remain a focus for Chinese investment, Nikkei reports.
As the coronavirus necessitates greater emphasis on cooperation between the U.S. and China, some experts worry that Washington’s decision to postpone the U.S.-ASEAN summit following a period of perceived disengagement risks pushing Southeast Asian countries further toward China and delays discussions on critical topics, including the U.S. rival to the BRI, Nikkei reports.
Chinese-funded projects along the Mekong River are increasingly facing pushback from governments and environmentalists in the region as water levels drop due to drought and the construction of large dams. In an attempt to address these concerns, Vietnam plans to add the Mekong River to ASEAN's agenda this year, Nikkei reports.
In a recent survey by the ISEAS-Yusof Institute, 79 percent of ASEAN experts surveyed think that China is the most influential economic power in the region, but the majority are not confident in the Belt and Road Initiative, Nikkei reports.
As the U.S.-China trade war drives Chinese enterprises and other companies to relocate, Southeast Asian countries are constructing industrial parks and using tax incentives to attract manufacturers. As a result, Chinese corporate investment in Thailand is expected to increase by 30 percent this year, and foreign direct investment in Malaysia roughly doubled, Nikkei reports.
Many Asian cities, such as Jakarta and Bangkok, are threatened by rising sea levels. Unless delayed water infrastructure projects are accelerated, large sections of these cities will be underwater in the near future, Nikkei reports.
Southeast Asia is proving to be a hotbed for China's Belt and Road Initiative according to two new reports, with Indonesia, Cambodia, Singapore, and Vietnam topping the list of countries with the most contracts and investment out of an estimated $11 billion in the region overall in the first half of 2019, Nikkei reports.
Despite infrastructure development and employment opportunities generated under the Belt and Road Initiative, there are growing concerns and anti-Chinese sentiment among Cambodians, especially after the collapse of a Chinese-funded apartment construction project that left 28 dead on June 22, 2019, reports Nikkei Asian Review.
BRI 2.0 represents an opportunity for Southeast Asia to enter the next phase of growth. China's commitment to transparency could usher a new era of partnerships that benefit multiple parties, writes David Liao for Nikkei Asian Review.
The U.S.-China trade war has spurred ASEAN members to complete the negotiation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The Asian leaders will also look to find areas of cooperation in digital infrastructure, reports Nikkei Asian Review.
Cambodia and other nations across Southeast Asia are emerging as vital staging grounds for a new form of power struggle between China and its rivals. The growth of Beijing's vast Belt and Road Initiative since 2013 has galvanized the U.S. and its allies -- including Japan, India and Australia -- and prompted them to draw up infrastructure and security programs of their own, writes Gwen Robinson for the Nikkei Asian Review
Beijing is striking a conciliatory tone abroad to repair ties with Belt and Road partners, particularly in Southeast Asia where negotiations with Chinese companies over halted infrastructure projects are restarting, Nikkei reports.
ASEAN members plus China, Japan and South Korea agreed to create a framework insuring private funding for infrastructure projects of up to $1.5 billion under a new program to be called the Infrastructure Investors Partnership, reports Nikkei.
In an effort to provide an alternative to China's Belt and Road Initiative, Japan will help build "smart cities" across Southeast Asia, using artificial intelligence and networked devices to tackle problems like road congestion and energy conservation, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Washington’s shortsightedness is pushing its own competitors—the world's largest nuclear power and the second-largest economy—closer together.
Thailand is welcoming 500 Chinese companies over the weekend and is expecting to sign more than a dozen bilateral contracts that will link its Eastern Economic Corridor to China's Belt and Road Initiative.
Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam have announced the The Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) Fund. The fund aims to help Southeast Asia become more financially self-reliant and reduce its dependence on external economic and political giants, particularly China.
Read the full article [here](https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/Southeast-Asian-fund-can-complement-Chinese-investment-by
Chinese infrastructure investment throughout Southeast Asia has shifted the tide of opinion, simultaneously supporting authoritarian politics in certain states and engendering opposition to Belt and Road in others, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
Cambodians remain wary of Chinese infrastructure investment due to China’s growing influence in the country.
Vietnam plans to develop the largest solar plant in the ASEAN region, a 420-megawatt facility located in Tay Ninh in southwestern Vietnam. Talks are underway with several local and international financial institutions for project funding for the $420 million project.
This report highlights recommendations on how the U.S. might effectively engage Southeast Asia's infrastructure challenges to foster greater stability and financial integration in the region.
In the face of uncertainty about how the U.S. and China will respond to regional challenges, South Korea will likely continue to opt for flexible partnerships, such as with Russia, where specific interests overlap or converge.
On Tuesday, Singapore’s prime minister Lee Hsien Loong called on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to better leverage infrastructure and development opportunities provided by regional initiatives such as the Belt and Road and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
Since 2009 ASEAN entities have issued $1.85 billion worth of green bonds, many of which fund infrastructure developments such as Warisan Merdeka Tower in Kuala Lumpur.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomes all ten ASEAN leaders to New Dehli in an attempt to strengthen trade and connectivity with the bloc.
New projections show India's economy becoming third largest in the world, with other major ASEAN nations surging forward to propel Asian economic growth.
China's regionwide infrastructure drive is proving to be a game changer in the grain trade.
CSIS's leading regional experts discuss how the ambitious connectivity visions of regional powers across Eurasia could re-shape the future of the super-continent.
"I really like China" a diplomat told us a few months ago, "they are the only ones around with a plan for the 21st century." That plan – China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) – has, however, raised ample concern, from Asia all the way to the Berlin and Washington.
The Belt and Road Initiative is a major attempt by China to create a diplomatic zone around itself where the United States is not present.
At a recent meeting, the foreign ministers of the ASEAN countries along with Japan, China, and South Korea held discussions on the region's infrastructure and maritime order.
Quotes and Quotas is a weekly digest of phrases and facts that help explain Asia’s infrastructure push.
In it's 50th year, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations remains a key driver of growth in the region, lowering trade barriers and improving soft infrastructure to facilitate trade.
Here is a selection of work from ADBI related to four areas the Reconnecting Asia Project covers: climate change and sustainability, energy, regional integration, and infrastructure finance.
ASEAN countries are looking to China's Belt and Road initiative as a potential source of growth and integration, particularly after the U.S. withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
3-D printing has the potential to disrupt the division of labor in today’s manufacturing sector, putting great stress on regional and global economic arrangements.
The United States’ geoeconomic leadership depends, in part, on our ability to deliver infrastructure overseas that serves as the backbone for prosperity abroad and creates jobs and strengthens our economy at home.
Several ASEAN nations are reforming customs rules to boost trade and reduce logistical inefficiencies, Nikkei reports.
With the “Belt and Road” initiative, the fast establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the construction of ports and railways in Africa and elsewhere, and by pushing green energy, China is demonstrating what has been lost in the West in recent times.
Japan and Russia are stepping up cooperation after a summit between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin in December. Among the items for further discussion in 2017 are multilateral economic alliances and partnerships with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
There are six areas where the United States can directly influence the soft infrastructure in the reconnecting Asia footprint. All of these must be done in coordination with our bilateral and multilateral partners.