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.
Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga and Australian prime minister Scott Morrison plan to sign an agreement strengthening their cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad), a partnership between Australia, India, Japan, and the U.S. to further regional cooperation and balance against China, including Chinese infrastructure development, Nikkei reports.
The U.S. and Japan now need to think bigger, harder, and in greater unison about how to maximize their collective impact on urgent regional and global challenges. Considering the dramatic rise of China, the two like-minded nations -- the world's largest and third-largest economies -- would be best served by focusing on the top policy challenges facing the Indo-Pacific and world economy in the new COVID-impacted era.
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 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.
Malaysian prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin has proposed a $3.6 billion infrastructure development plan as part of the government's new budget intended to stimulate the economy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, 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.
Pakistan's prime minister, Imran Khan, has announced that Islamabad will give Gilgit-Baltistanat provisional provincial status. The region is at the heart of the $65 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and includes part of Pakistan-India-disputed Kashmir.
Thailand and China have signed a $1.6B deal to construct a segment of a high-speed rail, a component of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), meant to connect Bangkok with northeastern Thailand.
The U.S. has granted licenses to the world's two leading camera imaging sensor providers to continue shipments to Huawei following earlier crackdowns on suppliers' ability to sell components to the Chinese technology firm, Nikkei reports.
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.
Japan has signed a post-Brexit bilateral trade deal with the United Kingdom that will allow Japan to support the UK's 5G network development, following a ban on 5G equipment from Chinese supplier Huawei in July.
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.
Pakistan's federal government has initiated land reclamation and urbanization efforts on the islands of Bundal and Bhuddo, which were previously under the administration of Sindh province, sparking concern among local politicians that the islands could be sold to China as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
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.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would like to institutionalize the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) with Japan, India, and Australia to build out a "true security framework" as a counterweight to China, according to remarks the Secretary made in Tokyo at a gathering of the four countries' foreign ministers, Nikkei reports.
Greece is now considering excluding Huawei from its 5G network, following a recent visit from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Ties with China appearing to be cooling among Eastern European countries, underscored by high-level visits to Taiwan, and increasing security cooperation with the U.S. on 5G, and spurred by a growing number of failed Belt and Road infrastructure projects, slowing Chinese investment, and growing national security concerns over China's expanding espionage operations, Nikkei reports.
Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga plans to visit Vietnam and Indonesia in mid-October to strengthen ties with ASEAN and curb China's regional ambitions, a move seen as a continuation of former Prime Minister Abe's policies on prioritizing a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Government officials expect to finalize the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a free trade agreement between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand, as early as November 2020. However, Australia and Japan's lingering misgivings about China's alleged political interference and 5G market access have spurred attempts to court India, a former RCEP
India is considering partial privatization of it's aging, 68,000-km national railway system through public-private partnerships (PPPs) that would draw an estimated $4B in total investment, Nikkei reports.
The U.S. Department of Justice has requested permission from a federal judge to ban the popular Chinese messaging app WeChat due to national security concerns, Nikkei reports.
U.S. firms Intel and AMD have acquired licenses from the Department of Commerce to continue supplying Huawei amid Washington's crackdowns targeting the Chinese technology company, 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.
China's Ministry of Commerce has issued rules on its proposed list of "unreliable entities" targeting U.S. and other foreign firms and individuals it deems a threat to China's sovereignty and security in response to U.S. bans on Huawei and other Chinese technology companies, 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.
U.S. restrictions on sharing technology with Huawei have officially come into effect. As of Monday, September 14, Huawei suppliers that utilize U.S. technology have to obtain a license from the U.S. to continue selling to the China-based company, Nikkei reports.
A state-owned Chinese construction company has been awarded a contract for the Manila metro in spite of U.S. efforts to sanction Chinese SOEs for construction in the South China Sea, Nikkei reports.
The U.S. ban on supplying Huawei could take a $26 billion yearly toll on tech manufacturers in Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea, 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.
Cambodia has announced plans to instate a China-style internet gateway which activists fear could allow the government to block critical content, Nikkei reports.
Fishermen at Pakistan's Gwadar Port, part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, are protesting an incoming fleet of 20 Chinese deep-sea trawlers off Sindh and Baluchistan provinces which they fear could further deplete Pakistan's dwindling marine resources, Nikkei reports.
Acquisition of a French shipping portfolio by China Merchants Port Holdings, a Chinese state-owned enterprise known for its controversial acquisition of Sri Lanka's Hambantota port, has been stalled by the Indian and Vietnamese governments in a bid to protect ports in Gujarat and Ho Chi Minh City.
The U.S. has blacklisted one of the Belt and Road Initiative's largest construction companies, the Chinese state-owned enterprise China Communications Construction Co. (CCCC), and its subsidiaries for its role in building artificial islands in the contested waters of the South China Sea, Nikkei reports.
Taiwan has issued a joint declaration with the U.S. announcing its participation in the "Clean Network" initiative to block Chinese technology companies like Huawei from supplying its 5G networks, Nikkei reports.
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.
Thailand's largest mobile operator has set aside $1.4 billion for 5G infrastructure in the country's Eastern Economic Corridor, a signature government initiative expected to diversify and drive the nation's economy in the years ahead.
Major Chinese telecom companies including Huawei and ZTE have slowed their rollout of 5G base stations in China as U.S. regulations force Chinese telecom companies out of the U.S. supply chains.
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.
70 percent of 4G stations in Africa are made by Chinese technology company Huawei, creating barriers to a pivot away from the telecom provider for 5G networks despite U.S. security concerns, 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.
Dito, the China Telecom-supported and Huawei-supplied company poised to break up the Philippines telecom duopoly, has had their operation date delayed to January 2021 by the Covid-19 pandemic, as only a quarter of its planned towers have been built, 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.
PLDT, the Philippines' largest telecom company, will launch its 5G mobile service on Thursday using equipment partly supplied by China's Huawei Technologies, 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.
China's Huawei Technologies on Monday urged global carriers to continue buying its networking gear to "stay ahead in the 5G race," in response to political pressure from the U.S., UK, France, and Singapore to drop the carrier due to national security concerns, Nikkei reports.