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.
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.
Indonesia is in talks with Japan and the U.S. to establish a sovereign wealth fund for infrastructure and other development projects. The fund will help cover the estimated $33 billion needed to develop the country's new capital in East Kalimantan, Nikkei reports.
Beijing has signed 20 new agreements with Nepal for infrastructure development under its Belt and Road Initiative, but the recent leak of a document suggesting that road expansion could result in the loss of hundreds of acres of land along Nepal's border with China has sparked protests, Nikkei reports.
Debt sustainability risks are rising in the Asia Pacific region according to the International Monetary Fund, however, Chinese loans are not yet playing a significant role despite concerns sparked in Australia and the U.S. after China offered aid to the Solomon Islands following the switch of diplomatic ties from Taipei to Beijing, Nikkei reports.
New Delhi has reached out to Sri Lanka's newly-elected president in an attempt to improve diplomatic ties. The move comes at a time when Sri Lanka is experiencing increased Chinese investment under Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative, Nikkei reports.
As the U.S. ban on sales to Huawei forces the company to turn to other suppliers, Huawei is increasingly looking to Japan for procurement and R&D collaboration, Nikkei reports.
The Japan Bank for International Cooperation is backing Sri Lanka's first issuance of bonds in the Japanese market amid concerns about rising debt levels in the South Asian country.
Historically, Kazakhstan's economic potential has been constrained by geographic extremes and uneven development. To address these challenges, the government has emphasized investment in transportation networks and urban economic centers, achieving steady growth and reducing inequality as a result, yet some risks remain.
French president Emmanuel Macron will meet with Chinese president Xi Jinping in Shanghai ahead of the China International Import Expo. His visit follows the announcement of a new EU investment screening framework designed to shield European technology and infrastructure from growing Chinese influence.
U.S. Exim Bank and Japan's state-backed Nippon Export and Investment Insurance have signed a deal enabling them to jointly mitigate export risks faced by Japanese-led energy and other infrastructure projects that have U.S. participation, Nikkei reports.
Questions of economic development, military power projection, political influence, and global economic suzerainty form the backdrop for what is emerging as a global competition centered on the most economically dynamic region of the world—Asia. And infrastructure development is at the center of that contest.
This new report by the Rhodium Group and Mercator Institute for China Studies takes stock of Europe’s toolkit for responding to market distortions spilling over from growing Chinese investment and other commercial linkages with Europe.
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.
Taiwan's pitch to build Asian government infrastructure has led to a rise in contracts from four in 2015 to 20 last year, including on metros and roads in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam, Nikkei reports
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has purchased a 45 percent stake in the 117 kilometer-long Cikopo-Plimanan Toll Road project, highlighting CPPIB's commitment to the Asia-Pacific region, Nikkei reports.
Chinese contractors earned over $118 billion in overseas construction sales last year, nearly a quarter of the year's international construction revenue. This is largely related to Chinese construction companies involvement in the Belt and Road Initiative, Nikkei reports.
China looks to increase infrastructure investment to underpin its slowing economy by issuing infrastructure bonds initially slated for 2020 ahead of schedule, Nikkei reports.
China has encouraged local governments to raise more funding from the bond market than planned in 2019 to keep them investing in infrastructure, despite an uncertain economic outlook, Nikkei reports.
China's Belt and Road Initiative presents potential opportunities for India to upgrade its roads, rail networks, and ports through bridging its saving-infrastructure gap, Nikkei reports.
Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority is hoping to diversify its sources of funding away from China as it seeks $11 billion in investment for infrastructure upgrades and new facilities, says the company's Chairman.
Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese president Xi Jinping plan to sign deals for infrastructure and funding support from China's Belt and Road Initiative during Duterte's visit to Beijing this week, Nikkei reports.
Vietnam's demand for energy has grown at 13 percent per year since 2000. Traditionally, Vietnam has satisfied this demand with electricity generated by coal and hydropower. Moving forward, Vietnam is seeking to attract investment in renewable energy infrastructure, such as wind and solar, Nikkei reports.
India needs an estimated $700 billion to repair and upgrade its basic infrastructure by 2022 to sustain economic development, Nikkei reports.
Germany lowered its national maximum foreign investment threshold from 25 to 10 percent in December, in part due to rising concerns over growing Chinese investment in digital and other infrastructure across Europe.
As Russia and China sign economic agreements and deepen their ties, they will also have to work through friction caused by China’s economic advancement under the Belt and Road in Central Asia, Nikkei reports.
Foreign investment, led by China, in transportation and telecommunications quadrupled to $1 billion in the last six months as Myanmar approved a number of infrastructure projects, Nikkei reports.
On June 28-29, government leaders representing 85 percent of the global economy convened for the fourteenth G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan. In the wake of the meeting, the CSIS Simon Chair in Political Economy hosted experts including Japan's ambassador to the G20, Koji Tomita, to discuss major outcomes, including China's endorsement of the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment.
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is courting private sector investors to jointly fund infrastructure projects, Nikkei reports.
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.
China Telecom's future operations in the Philippines will be closely monitored by a government-operated cybersecurity platform, as the Chinese-led consortium prepares to launch third mobile carrier next year, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
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.
Newly seated World Bank President David Malpass says the multilateral organization is working hard to ensure Beijing improves transparency in lending to countries involved in its Belt and Road Initiative, Nikkei reports.
Forming the backbone of China’s “Maritime Silk Road,” investments in African ports provide a gateway to the region’s trade and economic development, empower China with political leverage and clout on the continent, and provide a foothold for People’s Liberation Army Navy activities.
At this week's Group of 20 meeting in Japan, finance ministers and central bankers are expected to sign sustainable infrastructure investment guidelines to help prevent developing economies from taking on dangerous amounts of debt, reports the 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
As this year's host of the Group of 20 countries, Tokyo is taking the opportunity to push a novel idea: quality infrastructure investment, or QII, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.