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.
The announcement of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has led to speculation about the new administration's approach to the $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a flagship project of China's Belt and Road Initiative that has previously been criticized by the U.S. for a lack of transparency.
China is reluctant to finance the Main Line 1 railway, the largest Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) project in Pakistan, at the 1 percent interest rate requested by Islamabad, which will likely delay the project's anticipated January 2021 start date, Nikkei reports.
This case study of Gwadar port, part of a series on China’s Indian Ocean “strategic strongpoints” (战略支点), reveals that while Gwadar may one day serve as a major platform for China’s economic, diplomatic, and military interactions across the region, as of August 2020 it remains largely underdeveloped and underutilized.
Pakistan has reopened two closed border crossings and opened three new ones with Afghanistan at China's urging in a move that experts believe is intended to extend the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) into Afghanistan, Nikkei reports.
Beijing has relaunched a $2 billion coal mine and power project in southeastern Pakistan amid rising tensions with Austalia, China's largest source of imported coal.
Pakistan, with the help of a Chinese loan, repaid a $1 billion Saudi loan last week and asked for their support on the Kashmir issue, although Saudi Arabia is reluctant to become entangled in the efforts of Pakistan and China to contain India, Nikkei reports.
Pakistan's top economic body on Wednesday authorized a $6.8 billion railway upgrade, its costliest project to date as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Nikkei reports.
Following an attack on Pakistan's stock exchange in June, Baloch and Sindhi separatist groups have announced an alliance ostensibly aimed at attacking projects along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a move that is likely to increase security costs for the flagship route of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Nikkei reports.
Pakistan has reduced its annual allocation to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) from $241 million last year to $159 million in the budget running to June 2021, Nikkei reports.
Despite the pandemic, construction along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been ordered to resume, Nikkei reports.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that was officially launched in April 2015, promised transformational gains. The CSIS Reconnecting Asia Project collected open-source data to analyze the initiative's progress five years later.
The Gwadar Smart Port City Masterplan, part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, has attracted criticism due to lack of transparency and aims that some experts call unrealistic. The plan estimates over 2000 percent population growth by 2050 and will require more than $648 million for basic infrastructure alone, Nikkei reports.
Fears of the new coronavirus spreading to Pakistan have delayed projects along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in Lahore and South Punjab, including work on the Orange Line Metro Train, Nikkei reports.
In in effort to make the costly China-Pakistan Economic Corridor profitable, Islamabad is encouraging nearby countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia to participate in the initiative alongside China, Nikkei reports.
Starting today in Beijing, China will begin brokering peace talks among rival Afghan factions in hopes of increasing stability in the region and furthering the reach of its Belt and Road Initiative in Central Asia, Nikkei reports.
Pakistan's Prime Minister, Imran Khan, is due to speak at a high profile China-Pakistan business forum on Tuesday where he is expected to reaffirm his country's openness to Chinese investment. His two-day visit to Beijing comes amid uncertainty over the future of projects under the $62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Nikkei reports.
A Chinese delegation was in Balochistan, Pakistan early in September, attempting to speed up progress on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects, which have moved slowly due to governmental and local criticism in Pakistan, Nikkei reports.
Pakistan's policymakers have cited financial pressures and the need to balance ties between China and the U.S. as the reasons behind slow progress on The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Nikkei reports.
The government of Pakistan has announced plans to set up a new body, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority, to expedite projects under China's Belt and Road Initiative, Nikkei reports.
This spring, when the International Monetary Fund approved a $6 billion bailout for Pakistan, an invaluable opportunity was missed to push for greater transparency of China’s Belt and Road Initiative by not requiring project contracts for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor—a significant source of Pakistan’s debt—to be made public.
The China National Nuclear Corp. finished structural work for the Hualong One nuclear reactor in the Pakistani city of Karachi this June. Chinese President Xi Jinping hopes to install similar nuclear technology at more locations along the Belt and Road Initiative, with 30 units by 2030, which is estimated to create 5 million jobs and provide a total economic boost of $145 billion, Nikkei reports.
Supporters of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor have long argued that the initiative would spur development and improve Pakistan’s macroeconomic fortunes. As Pakistan faces its thirteenth IMF bailout in the last thirty years, it is clear that without serious reforms, the debt incurred to fund CPEC could do more economic harm than good.
Pakistan will slash spending on BRI projects in the next year as the government struggles to balance its finances. These budget cuts arrive amid growing recognition from Beijing of the complications involved with Pakistan and other nations incurring heavy debt to finance BRI projects, reports Nikkei.
Pakistan's prime minister, Imran Khan, visited southern Balochistan province last week following Balochistan's claims that the province was not getting a significant share of the Beijing-funded $62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. During his visit to Balochistan, Khan inaugurated several construction projects seen as crucial for the local economy, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Pakistan has diverted around $171.6 million meant for joint infrastructure development projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a flagship effort under China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), into other construction plans. This signals that Islamabad may be distancing itself from Beijing and the BRI, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Weeks after a meeting of government officials from Beijing and Islamabad, the environmental impact of China-led coal-fired power generation projects in Pakistan is still a hot topic of debate. Lack of disclosure on plans associated with $62 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor, which forms a crucial part of Chinese President Xi Jinping's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, is spurring local environmental concerns.
China's $2.5 billion offer to bailout Pakistan as its foreign exchange reserves dry up disappointed Islamabad, which reportedly sought $6 billion from Beijing. Pakistan's balance of payments crisis could threaten the $62 billion Beijing has invested in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, reports Nikkei.
Saudi Arabia plans to build Pakistan's largest oil refinery near Gwadar port, the flagship project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The oil refinery, part of Saudi Arabia's new commitment to invest $15 billion in Pakistan over the next three years, could fuel competition with Beijing for economic leverage given China's significant investment there under CPEC, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Saudi Arabia plans to set up a $10 billion oil refinery at Pakistan's Chinese-funded Gwadar port, according to a statement given by the Saudi energy minister. Pakistan's petroleum minister, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, has said that the project will make Saudi Arabia an important partner in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
The government of Pakistan awarded a $2.21 billion contract to build the Mohmand dam to a consortium of China Gezhouba and Descon—the latter founded by Abdul Razak Dawood, the prime minister's adviser on commerce and industry. The conflict of interest has drawn scrutiny from the government's leading opposition party which has called for an investigation of the project's procurement process.
Pakistan is asking China to shift its investment focus from power and infrastructure projects to industrialization, agriculture, and education as regards the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Pakistan faces a financial crisis and has secured a bailout package from Saudi Arabia, but surprisingly, it has yet to secure a similar package from China. Pakistan expected a decent bailout package from China, which is often called Pakistan’s all-weather friend, but China likely wants more detailed negotiations. Five reasons help explain China’s surprising response.
As he heads for a face-to-face meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan is reportedly planning to renegotiate CPEC and to make it align more with Pakistan's interests, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
When it was launched, China heralded its Belt and Road Initiative as a “golden opportunity” to revitalize the region, but today it has raised serious concerns about debt sustainability, drawing scrutiny from the IMF. One way for Beijing to demonstrate its commitment to addressing the IMF's concerns is by partnering to develop more sustainable and transparent lending practices.
Pakistan has formally asked the International Monetary Fund for financial assistance amid pressure to meet external debt obligations, reports the Nikkei Asian Review. IMF help will require absolute transparency on the nature, size, and terms of the country's debt, including its BRI investment from China.
The China Road Project, a team of researchers interested in China’s role in global development, will be traveling 60,000 kilometers over land and sea to investigate China's Belt and Road initiative (BRI), a foreign policy concept and global infrastructure plan announced by Chinese president Xi Jinping in 2013, to help close the information gap and shine a light on the multi-trillion dollar initiative.
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.
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 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.
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.
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..
Energy projects account for more than 60 percent of the roughly $62 billion in investment along the China-Pakistan Economic Corrdior. While CPEC's power plants have the potential to greatly increase access to electricity for Pakistan’s population, they could also pose serious risks to surrounding wildlife.
Pakistan is offering an ambitious tax amnesty program which it hopes will help the country borrow $60 billion from China and commercial sources for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
A special report by Nikkei Asian Review and The Banker which leverages data from the CSIS Reconnecting Asia Project has found that China's Belt and Road initiative holds considerable promise for countries in need of infrastructure investment along its route, however, participation has been hampered by challenges ranging from a lack of participation by local workers and banks to unmanageable debt hangovers.
As Europe disappears, Asia coheres. The supercontinent is becoming one fluid, comprehensible unit of trade and conflict, as the Westphalian system of states weakens and older, imperial legacies – Russian, Chinese, Iranian, Turkish – become paramount.
Nearly three years into CPEC, a number of projects have moved forward at breakneck speed, yet costs remain high and political rivalries still threaten to derail progress.
Reconnecting Asia is tracking developments across a vast landmass that includes 60 percent of the global economy. Every day, new infrastructure projects are announced, some are advanced, and others encounter obstacles. Here is a selection of the top projects to watch in 2018.
Quotes and Quotas is a weekly digest of powerful phrases and facts that help explain Asia’s infrastructure push.
This analysis evaluates the proximity of Pakistan's population to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor's highway network.