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.
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.
The expansion of China’s Belt and Road Initiative in Central Asia suggests that Chinese manufacturers may soon become world leaders in wind energy with the help of government subsidies, Nikkei reports.
The debt owed to China by African countries has risen dramatically under Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative, including in Zambia, which is poised to default on a $42.5 million interest payment, fueling criticisms that China has been slow to offer debt relief amid the pandemic.
The U.S. is hosting Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto for a five-day trip to Washington, despite a long-standing ban over suspected human rights violations, following calls by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to build an alliance of like-minded democracies to balance against China. The visit comes amid rising Chinese investment in strategic projects in Indonesia, Nikkei reports.
Widespread protests against the election of President Alexander Lukashenko and rising economic instability in Belruas have led to increased pressure on the government from both the West and traditional ally Russia, leading Minsk to turn increasingly toward China, a growing source of infrastructure investment in recent years, for economic support, Nikkei reports.
The U.S. has accelerated efforts to sell U.S. military equipment to Bangladesh in a perceived attempt to balance against China's growing economic influence and infrastructure investment in the South Asian country, Nikkei reports.
The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has seen its net profits decline and crisis-related expenditures spike in light of emergency funding intended to help members meet financial needs under the pandemic, Nikkei reports.
Pakistan's leading Taliban group has announced the reunification of several breakaway factions which experts believe could pose risks to Chinese-funded projects along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, including the Karakoram Highway Phase II, the Suki Kinari Hydropower Station, and the Havelian Dry Port, Nikkei reports.
Amid economic contraction, Greece’s government has increasingly turned to China for investment in power transmission, an underwater link, and the seaport of Piraeus, Nikkei reports.
China State Railway Group announced on Thursday its plans to double the length of the nation's high-speed rail network to 70,000 km by 2035 at a cost of 4.55 trillion yuan ($42.6 billion), Nikkei reports.
Turkey's Sovereign Wealth Fund is looking to China for investment in a number of major infrastructure projects and to tie Turkey into China's Belt and Road Initiative much more deeply, Nikkei reports.
Bangladesh has described their relationship with China and the Belt & Road Initiative as solely "economic diplomacy," but China's expanding trade and investment in the country also threatens to undermine Indian influence, Nikkei reports.
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.
Malaysia and Singapore have agreed to commence construction of a light-rail connection in early 2021, reviving a project that was delayed by Mahathir Mohamad's former government over cost concerns, Nikkei reports.
Chinese president Xi Jinping proposed on Tuesday to restructure the Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) into an inclusive platform for the promotion of international cooperation and multilateralism amid the coronavirus pandemic, Nikkei reports.
World Bank President David Malpass has issued a statement directed at China urging all bilateral creditors to uphold an agreement of the G20 finance ministers to temporarily suspend debt repayments due to the Covid-19 pandemic following allegations that China has secretly reinstated payments for Laos and Angola, Nikkei reports.
A proposed $400B economic and strategic agreement between Iran and China, including a major port development project on the Strait of Hormuz, will invest $280B in Iran's oil and gas industry and $120B in production and transportation infrastructure, Nikkei reports.
Construction of Vietnam's $900 million China-built railway line in Hanoi, Vietnam's first metro line, has been substantially delayed by disagreements between the Vietnamese government and the Chinese company on the project, Nikkei reports.
Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin are attempting to put economics at the center of their strategic partnership, but a closer look at four dimensions of China-Russia connectivity reveals a partnership of unequals that will become even more lopsided in the future.
The Covid-19 pandemic has threatened Bangladesh's record of strong economic growth over the past decade which has caused the government to consider new sources of infrastructure development financing, including foreign remittances and foreign reserves, but the International Monetary Fund has urged caution, Nikkei reports.
Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa announced that his government plans to strengthen Chinese investment in the Colombo port, straining relations with India, who was originally authorized to develop and use the new East Container Terminal, Nikkei reports.
Japan will stop financing the construction of coal-fired power plants overseas in response to criticism of its backing for the carbon-intensive energy source as part of the country's push to build foreign infrastructure projects, Nikkei reports.
Covid-19's impact on the aviation industry has caused delays for a $2 billion project to expand the airport in Manila, prompting the government to re-visit the terms of the public-private partnership agreement with the consortium behind the project, Nikkei reports.
India's highways minister said on Wednesday the country "will not give permission to joint ventures that have Chinese partners for road construction" following the military clash in the Himalayas, Nikkei reports.
China has completed its Beidou satellite system, its answer to the U.S.-based Global Positioning System (GPS), advancing Beijing's effort to cut its reliance on U.S. technology, Nikkei reports. China has exported Beidou products to 120 countries as part of it's Belt and Road Initiative.
Investment in renewable energy in Southeast Asia is holding up despite the economic pressure of the coronavirus pandemic, with many business buyers seizing chances to lock in low-cost power supplies for the long term, 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.
Indonesia is in talks with the U.S. to relocate U.S.companies operating in China to the archipelago, as businesses and governments worldwide look to diversify supply chains in the wake of covid-19, Nikkei reports.
The Indonesian government has begun discussions on possible Japanese participation in a planned high-speed railway between Jakarta and Bandung, hoping to spur progress on the delayed Chinese-led project as costs mount, Nikkei reports.
Citing the need to balance economic and national security, Australia announced all foreign investors will face greater scrutiny when bidding for sensitive assets, regardless of the size of the deal and whether the buyer is private or state-owned. Chinese companies have been major investors in Australian resources, agriculture and property, Nikkei reports.
Indonesia plans to extend the tracks of the $6 billion Jakarta-Bandung rail project being built with China to ensure economic viability, but is facing a one year delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, Nikkei reports.
Plunging oil, copper, and mineral prices could threaten China's $200 billion in investments and loans in Africa, Nikkei reports.
To spur economic recovery from the COVID-19 recession, China has accelerated investment efforts in its infrastructure, technology, and manufacturing sectors, Nikkei reports.
Infrastructure is crucial for fostering countries’ economic development and prosperity. This collection of policy briefs discusses how to maximize the impact of quality infrastructure investments through sustainable financing and other resilient strategies to support the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement, and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
China's Belt and Road investments are facing public criticism in Laos as Chinese-built hydropower plants disrupt the local fishing industry. Some Chinese agricultural businesses have also been accused of poor labor and environmental standards while the IMF and other organizations have flagged the risk of debt distress in the country, Nikkei reports.
Given the worsening global economy and recent foreign investment decreases in the Philippines, critics claim President Duterte's efforts to shut down domestic utilities and media companies on charges of corruption are economically unwise, Nikkei reports.
The Blue Dot Network (BDN)—an effort by the United States, Japan, and Australia to promote high-quality global infrastructure—holds promise and should be encouraged, but many unanswered questions about its implementation will need to be addressed for the initiative to achieve its desired impact.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo promised "a million dollars of assistance to increase trade and connectivity between Uzbekistan and Afghanistan," during a visit to Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Meanwhile, China's presence in Central Asia is growing, in part due to heavy investment in the region's infrastructure development through its Belt and Road Initiative, Nikkei reports.
As Chinese investment projects in the Philippines face scrutiny due to their potential security and environmental impacts, President Duterte has warned courts against challenging Chinese-backed projects. Until mid-2019, no Chinese infrastructure projects in the Philippines had started construction, Nikkei reports.
New legislation will allow Japan to support the construction of liquefied natural gas terminals across Asia, positioning Tokyo to take advantage of a rapidly growing LNG market, Nikkei reports.
Chinese companies are constructing new factories in Southeast Asia in an effort to avoid U.S. tariffs, with Chinese direct investment in Thailand increasing fivefold in 2019.
Malaysia's AirAsia Group says it will co-found a tech training facility with California-based Google, as it pushes to become a technology-led company, Nikkei writes.
Indonesia is seeking further Japanese investment in the Natuna Islands following tensions with Beijing over a standoff between Chinese and Indonesian vessels in neighboring waters, Nikkei reports.
Laos has approved 14 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) backed by Bejing as part of China's Belt and Road Initiative in a bid to boost the economy, however, many observers are concerned about the country's mounting debt to China, Nikkei reports.
President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev is looking to carry out projects with Japan worth over $6 billion to establish closer bilateral relations in areas such as power generation and agriculture, Nikkei reports.
Malaysia has reinstated a consortium led by state-owned China Railway Engineering Corporation as the master developer of the Bandar Malaysia project, with the adjusted agreement requiring a larger deposit and a shorter payment term. The mixed development is expected to attract major multinationals, including Alibaba and Huawei, Nikkei reports.
China has completed a new island off the coast of Colombo, a $1.4 billion project funded entirely by Chinese investment. Sri Lanka is set to vote on legislation that, if passed, would make the island a special economic zone in an attempt to attract more foreign investment, Nikkei reports.
According to Fitch Solutions, Tokyo-backed projects in Southeast Asia have topped $367 billion, outspending China and making Japan the top provider of infrastructure and development aid in the region, Nikkei reports.