Although Beijing insists that its Belt and Road Initiative has no geopolitical motives, the project has been at the center of an increasing number of political controversies, foreign and domestic, writes the Financial Times in a Special Report, citing analyses from the Reconnecting Asia Project.
Five years after the announcement of China's Belt and Road, the ambitious drive to build new infrastructure across Eurasia has produced a mixed track record on key issues such as its energy footprint, debt sustainability, and environmental impact.
Nepal's new government has restored a $2.5 billion deal with China Guangzhou Corporation to build the nation's largest hydroelectric power plant. This is part of prime minister K.P. Sharma Oli's strategy to use Chinese investment to improve Nepal's infrastructure, writes the Nikkei Asian Review.
As demand for bandwidth grows along China’s Belt and Road initiative, Chinese involvement in technology, media, and telecommunications projects will continue to rise. Along with commercial opportunities, these projects carry geopolitical and strategic implications, paving the way for China’s technological dominance and furthering its ability to set global standards under the banner of its Belt and Road initiative.
The European Commission has announced "The European Way to Connectivity," a proposal aimed at boosting Europe's infrastructure links with Asia.
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.
Chinese infrastructure funding is as likely to go outside of Beijing's six defined economic corridors as it is to go in them; indicating a possible lapse of control from the central government. This could present opportunities for its partners and competitors, writes Jonathan Hillman in the Nikkei Asian Review.
Five years ago, President Xi Jinping unveiled the Belt and Road Initiative, a vast investment scheme cloaked in the rhetoric of cooperation that was designed to pave the way for China's transition to great power status. Instead, it has become a roller coaster that Beijing is struggling to control.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia this week. Both leaders decided to further pursue collaboration on infrastructure projects during Abe’s visit to Beijing next month, the first bilateral visit by a Japanese Prime Minister to China since 2011.
Following their meeting at the 2018 Eastern Economic Forum, Chinese president Xi Jinping and Russian president Vladimir Putin affirmed their intention to link China's Belt and Road Initiative with the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union.
Beijing has pledged another $60 billion to African countries as it tries to address the perception of the Belt and Road being a debt trap, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
Djibouti intends to promote the Belt and Road Initiative despite caution about the debt burden, according to the Nikkei Asian Review. The country's strategic location at the mouth of the Red Sea could help China connect to Africa and Europe by land and sea.
Malaysia and Singapore will resume construction of the 350 km East Coast Rail Link project in 2020 on the basis that Singapore will be compensated $11 million for the delay.
Five years since it was announced, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has yet to materialize on the ground as promised. According to Chinese officials, the BRI includes six economic corridors that will carry goods, people, and data across the Eurasian supercontinent. But a statistical analysis of 173 infrastructure projects finds that Chinese investment is just as likely to go outside those corridors as within them.
Japan and China are moving ahead with plans to cooperate on overseas infrastructure projects, with a public-private committee scheduled to hold its first meeting in Beijing.
China's Belt and Road Initiative aims to dominate the next wave of wireless technology by becoming the global leader in the development of 5G networks.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi heads to Nepal for a meeting of the seven-nation BIMSTEC bloc, where improved trade and connectivity have the potential to help India counter Beijing's massive Belt and Road Initiative, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
At risk of granting China valuable concessions to ease their debt burdens, Central Asian countries seek to bolster relations with China and secure a piece of the Belt and Road Initiative, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
China is courting African leaders with offers of economic assistance through the Belt and Road Initiative as it prepares to host the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation on September 3rd and Sept 4th, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
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.
China will contribute $3.6 billion to Turkey for infrastructure projects in order to expand its Belt and Road Initiative and mitigate the impact of Turkey's economic crisis.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir claims that Chinese leaders have accepted his government's request to stop three China-backed infrastructure projects due to debt concerns.
Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad is heading to China to renegotiate billion-dollar infrastructure projects signed by his predecessor, in an effort to reduce the nation's financial dependence on China.
Vietnam's Ministry of Investment and Planning issued a warning to its government about Chinese development assistance, citing concerns of high interest rates, project overruns, and a lack of local contribution to the projects.
The Chinese government is set to expand infrastructure spending by nearly $10 billion to stimulate the economy amid the growing risk of a financial slowdown as its trade war with the U.S. escalates, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
Indonesian president Joko Widodo is reportedly considering cutting back on his signature infrastructure projects to suppress imports of construction materials in order to protect the value of the rupiah, according to Nikkei Asian Review.
Pakistan's new prime minister Imran Khan is deciding whether the country should turn to the International Monetary Fund or to China for financial support. The new administration must resolve its shortage of foreign exchange reserves caused by a sharp increase in imports through BRI-related projects and the redemption of external debt.
Hong Kong's subway operator MTR has announced more construction issues affecting its Sha Tin-Central rail link, adding more problems to the troubled $12.3 billion project that includes sinking pillars, substandard work, and allegations of cover-ups.
In anticipation of an infrastructure spending boost, stocks have climbed for Chinese infrastructure companies.
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
China and Japan agreed Thursday to encourage deeper economic cooperation in the private sector and to launch a public-private committee to advance joint infrastructure development in the region as part of Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative.
The Chinese Communist Party's Politburo decided to implement a "proactive fiscal policy" and expand infrastructure investment with the goal of supporting economic growth as the effect of U.S. tariffs begin to kick in.
The U.S.'s recently announced plan to invest $113 million in infrastructure throughout the Indo-Pacific region will have a limited impact and pales in comparison to China's multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative, according to Dr. James Crabtree of the National University of Singapore.
China's Belt and Road Initiative has expanded far beyond its original core of Eurasia and the Middle East, from New Zealand to the Arctic, Africa to Latin America and even outer space. While the BRI is not yet a challenge to the rules-based liberal order, it is a test of it.
The EU became wary of China's infrastructure investment in Central and Eastern European countries. Hungary was forced by the EU to conduct a public tender for the Hungarian segment of the Belgrade-Budapest High-Speed Railway, which would delay the project completion until 2023.
The sheer scale and complexity of many infrastructure projects guarantee that disputes will arise. That’s why China is not only pushing projects overseas under its Belt and Road Initiative but increasingly, it is also writing new rules that advance its interests. The implications for the rules-based order—and U.S. interests—could be profound.
Concerns are being raised that China's port infrastructure push may be setting up debt traps, by lending money with a hidden goal of controlling the ports and turning them into military bases, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
China's latest "16+1" summit in Sofia Bulgaria perfectly captures China’s deceptive brand of multilateralism. Bringing together many countries, it gives the outward appearance of inclusivity and consensus-building, but beneath the surface, it is fundamentally different from the multilateral practices and institutions it claims to uphold. China has yet to offer the world deep multilateralism at scale.
Rather than being roundly welcomed, China's Belt and Road investment and finance decisions have become cause for concern for some receiving states, according to the Nikkei Asian Review..
California-based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies will help build a 10-km hyperloop in Guizhou Province, which has been targeted for heavy transportation investment due to its strategic location on the land route of China's Belt and Road Initiative.
China has become unresponsive over FTA talks with Sri Lanka for what some observers believe is linked to the new Sri Lankan administration’s reluctance at incurring any further infrastructure debt.
Cambodians remain wary of Chinese infrastructure investment due to China’s growing influence in the country.
Beijing is helping to mediate peace talks between Myanmar's government and rebel factions, aiming to calm strife on the Chinese border to clear a path for Belt and Road infrastructure projects.
Mahathir's new government intended to cut the cost of the Light Rail Transit 3 project by 47%, from 31.65 billion ringgit to 16.63 billion ringgit ($4.11 billion). This also sends a worrying message to stakeholders of other costly infrastructure projects signed by Najib's government, which was blamed for "poor governance."
China's "Ice Silk Road," which would create a shortcut between the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic via the Arctic, could complicate relations with Russia as the two nations compete for influence in Central Asia, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
According to an expert with the German Marshall Fund, a prolonged U.S.- China trade war will make it difficult for China to afford expensive foreign policy ventures, such as its Belt and Road Initiative.
Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad is expected to lead a government delegation to Beijing, as Malaysia figures out how to service loans taken from China to finance costly infrastructure projects.
Malaysia suspended work on the East Coast Railway Link, which was being constructed by a Chinese contractor for $20 billion. This may signal Mahathir administration's intent to cut national debt ahead of the potential renegotiation with China.
This Friday China will gather 16 Central and Eastern European countries in Sofia, Bulgaria, for the annual China-Central and Eastern European "16+1" summit. As the gathering may help China build a bigger economic and political presence in Europe and exercise its power bilaterally under the cover of a multilateral veneer, it warrants more attention from Brussels and Washington.