The coronavirus pandemic could have serious impacts on economic growth in Laos, which is already struggling due to significant debt taken on to finance a large range of Chinese-backed infrastructure projects, 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.
Indian and Chinese troops are engaged in a military confrontation at the Himalayan border, triggered in part by India's construction of roads and airstrips in response to China's Belt and Road Initiative, Nikkei reports.
In Fall 2020, CSIS will host a three-day Master’s-level introduction to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The course will explain what the BRI is, what it is not, and how it is impacting commercial and strategic realities on the ground. Course dates to be announced soon.
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.
While much attention has been focused on economic coercion, inducements have also played an important role in China’s toolkit. Ramping up U.S. efforts at bilateral and multilateral economic engagement would provide more credible or appealing alternatives.
Pakistan has entered a joint contract venture with China to build a dam in Kashmir, increasing the country's financial ties to China and igniting new tensions with India, Nikkei reports.
Pakistan has outlawed a political party critical of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project of China's Belt and Road Initiative, signaling the country's strong ties to Beijing, Nikkei reports.
Sri Lanka's decision to borrow a further $80 million from Beijing to finance road improvements has drawn criticism due to the country's already high levels of debt to China, Nikkei reports.
Supply chain disruptions due to the Covid-19 pandemic have increased traffic along China-Europe rail lines, which Beijing has promoted heavily under its Belt and Road Initiative, Nikkei reports.
China's Belt and Road infrastructure projects in Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, and Cambodia have come to a standstill as countries prioritize fighting COVID-19, Nikkei reports.
Plunging oil, copper, and mineral prices could threaten China's $200 billion in investments and loans in Africa, Nikkei reports.
This report assesses Chinese economic activities in the Western Balkans based on open-source data collected by CSIS and identifies key trends and China’s main avenues of influence.
The economic costs of the Covid-19 outbreak may limit the influence of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), as the virus halts the flow of workers and materials for BRI projects outside of China, Nikkei reports.
Beijing’s willingness to start new international institutions underscores its global ambitions and adds weight to its rhetoric about creating an alternative order, but it would be a mistake to exaggerate their current scale and effectiveness.
China says that the Belt and Road Initiative will not be impacted by COVID-19, and has continued to commit to new infrastructure projects in Southeast Asia. While experts suggest that China's slowing economy will lead the Chinese government to prioritize domestic spending, Southeast Asia is likely to remain a focus for Chinese investment, Nikkei reports.
Central Asia, a region at the heart of China's Belt and Road Initiative, has been sharply affected by the economic downturn in China and falling energy prices due to the global spread of the COVID-19 epidemic while country-level responses to the virus have varied widely, Nikkei reports.
The president of Serbia recently greeted a Chinese medical team arriving to assist the fight against COVID-19, underscoring Beijing's diplomatic efforts to give aid and advice to countries participating in its Belt and Road Initiative, Nikkei reports.
While the COVID-19 epidemic has spread along the routes of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), those same corridors are being used to provide medical support as Beijing attempts to position itself as a global leader in healthcare—a move which Chinese President Xi Jinping calls the “Health Silk Road.”
President Xi Jinping recently floated the idea of creating a "health silk road" paralleling the Belt and Road, which could further China's "mask diplomacy" efforts to provide medical supplies abroad and portray itself as a provider of international public goods. However, experts note that disinformation efforts by Chinese officials about COVID-19 are prompting pushback and could hinder such efforts.
Pakistan and China recently signed new memorandums of understanding (MoUs) under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) during President Arif Alvi's visit to China, but experts doubt China's willingness to substantially increase economic assistance to Pakistan, including to combat the coronavirus outbreak, Nikkei reports.
As the coronavirus necessitates greater emphasis on cooperation between the U.S. and China, some experts worry that Washington’s decision to postpone the U.S.-ASEAN summit following a period of perceived disengagement risks pushing Southeast Asian countries further toward China and delays discussions on critical topics, including the U.S. rival to the BRI, Nikkei reports.
Japanese lawmakers are pushing for the development of a digital yen in response to concerns that China could set international standards for digital currency technology, aided by the prevalence of the Belt and Road in countries with developing financial systems, Nikkei reports.
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.
Beijing is pushing for what it calls Global Energy Interconnection, a vision of a multi-trillion-dollar worldwide electricity network, which presents an opportunity for emerging economies experiencing power shortages but also the risk of vulnerability and insecurity, Nikkei reports.
The International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), stretching from the eastern coast of India to Europe via Iran, Russia, and the Caspian region, has been plagued by financial and political difficulties but its economic impact could be transformative if ever fully realized.
A flurry of recent diplomatic activity highlights the multilateral and multi-stakeholder footing of Eurasia's North-South trade and transport initiatives. While significant economic and political challenges remain, they retain the potential to transform Eurasia's economic landscape.
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.
French train maker Alstom is set to take over a railway unit of Canada's Bombardier in an $8.2 billion deal aimed at giving it the scale to better compete with China's CRRC, which continues to advance in Africa and Asia through the BRI, Nikkei reports.
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.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has crafted a China policy that mixes caution with engagement, for example, expanding the U.S.-Japan security alliance while also jointly funding Belt and Road projects, Nikkei reports.
European firms seeking to participate in China's Belt and Road Initiative face rising hurdles while Chinese state-owned companies are successfully pricing out their European competitors. As European leaders gear up for several high-profile meetings with Beijing in the coming months, a push for greater transparency and reciprocity along the BRI could help level the playing field.
The shutdown of Wuhan, a strategic transport hub, in response to the coronavirus outbreak could negatively impact China's Belt and Road Initiative, Nikkei reports.
Beijing and Naypyitaw have agreed to a $9 billion rail link between Muse and Mandalay, 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.
China’s growing military ambition in South Asia is matched in financial terms by its Belt and Road Initiative, including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. What remains unclear is how the U.S. should navigate the new dynamic. This report addresses the question of how the India-Pakistan rivalry will play into the emerging great power competition.
Afghanistan recently began shipping goods through Pakistan's Gwadar Port, part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, in a development experts believe may increase Kabul's participation in China's Belt and Road Initiative, Nikkei reports.
China and Myanmar signed 33 agreements during President Xi's visit to the Southeast Asian country, including a deal for the construction of a deep-sea port at Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone, which will give China access to the Indian Ocean, Nikkei reports.
Chinese president Xi Jinping's visit to Myanmar is expected to coincide with the announcement of the Belt and Road projects there, despite waning popularity of the initiative due to mounting debt levels, Nikkei reports.
The European Chamber describes the role of European business in China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), suggests ways the initiative can become more inclusive, and recommends areas where the EU can both complement the BRI and develop its own connectivity strategy into a credible alternative.
The CSIS ChinaPower project hosts a podcast episode with Dr. Wang Huiyao to explore the evolution of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the developments that have occurred since it was first introduced in 2013.
In a recent survey by the ISEAS-Yusof Institute, 79 percent of ASEAN experts surveyed think that China is the most influential economic power in the region, but the majority are not confident in the Belt and Road Initiative, Nikkei reports.
In the wake of rising regional tensions due to conflict with Iran, Pakistan is working to maintain stability and advance progress on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Nikkei reports.
During the second annual CSIS Ocean Security Forum on January 7, 2020, a panel of experts discussed the implications of China's port investments along its Maritime Silk Road on regional ocean sustainability, sovereignty, and security. Watch the full discussion below.
Alternative infrastructure investment initiatives led by Japan, India, and Australia indicate that China’s Belt and Road Initiative is likely to face increased pressure in 2020, Nikkei reports.
China recently announced plans to complete its Beidou satellite-based positioning system by June. The navigational system is key to the development of 5G technology and already provides services to about 120 countries, many of which are part of Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative, 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.
China has exported AI technology to over 60 countries, some of which have concerning human rights records, raising concerns among some countries that China may be "exporting authoritarianism," 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.