China's Belt and Road is commonly visualized as a train carrying commerce across Eurasia. But a train does not adequately capture BRI’s significance or scope. Instead, a Chinese flag is a better representation. Whether it is China’s intention or not, the increasing connectivity the BRI brings comes hand in hand with exposure to Chinese culture.
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.
Although Beijing insists that its Belt and Road Initiative has no geopolitical motives, the project has been at the center of an increasing number of political controversies, foreign and domestic, writes the Financial Times in a Special Report, citing analyses from the Reconnecting Asia Project.
As demand for bandwidth grows along China’s Belt and Road initiative, Chinese involvement in technology, media, and telecommunications projects will continue to rise. Along with commercial opportunities, these projects carry geopolitical and strategic implications, paving the way for China’s technological dominance and furthering its ability to set global standards under the banner of its Belt and Road initiative.
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.
China has embarked on the most ambitious infrastructure project in modern world history. It’s called the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and it’s how China plans to become the world’s next superpower.
Seven CSIS experts unpack the economic and geostrategic implications of China’s infrastructure development across the Indo-Pacific region under the Maritime Silk Road.
A recent report from the Reconnecting Asia Project suggests intercontinental rail will not likely capture enough trade to fundamentally change Eurasia's broader economic picture.
Thai industrial conglomerate Siam Cement Group seeks investment possibilities in South China and India in the years ahead. China's Belt and Road Initiative gives the conglomerate an opportunity to sell more products as the initiative stimulates spending on construction and spurs an increase in private-sector investments.
The New Silk Road Project will travel 10,000 miles across China’s Economic Belt from London to Yiwu to investigate the people, projects, countries, and landscapes involved in China's Belt and Road Initiative.
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.
China’s interest in the Arctic seems to be driven by potential energy, commercial, and geopolitical benefits, but each comes with a caveat.
CSIS Reconnecting Asia Director Jonathan Hillman testifies before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission for a hearing on "China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Five Years Later."
Chinese contractors are receiving the lion's share of Belt and Road opportunities reports the Financial Times, citing data from Reconnecting Asia.
Kazakhstan is a major partner in China’s multibillion-dollar “New Silk Road” project, but this new documentary by Radio Free Europe shows that their mutual cooperation does not come without some challenges.
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.
Three Americans walk the historic silk road from Xi’an to Istanbul to examine globalization and the dissemination of people, products, and ideas along the largest network of trading routes in the ancient world.
In China, where high-speed rail and brand-new highways are visibly transforming the lives of workers and families, the potential of the Belt and road is apparent. However, outside of China, the BRI remains largely hype for now.
Follow three young explorers from Venice to Beijing as they study how ancient trading routes are being reshaped by China's Rise.
This report highlights essays from our Big Question series - an analysis collection that explore the drivers and implications of the massive infrastructure push taking place across the Eurasian continent.
Before we decide whether the Belt and Road initiative is ineffective, not viable, or silly, I think we need to listen to what the Chinese say about it because this gives us an idea of what they want and how they see themselves and the role they play in the region.
The U.S. Navy/Marine Corps team was the only amphibious power in the Indian Ocean—but not for much longer as the People’s Liberation Army Marine Corps is over the horizon.
Done right, Asia's massive infrastructure push could improve road safety, particularly for developing economies such as Kazakhstan.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Monday that Japan is willing to cooperate with China on its ambitious "Belt and Road" initiative.
Quotes and Quotas is a weekly digest of phrases and facts that help explain Asia’s infrastructure push.
If the West remains silent by failing to help shape the Belt and Road or to offer an alternative, China's rhetoric will increasingly become reality.
Chinese President Xi Jinping announced at the "Belt and Road" forum in Beijing that China will invest an additional $100 billion, suggesting that China may be doubling down on the initiative.
An initiative has the benefit of being viewed as less threatening, more open ended, and more inclusive than a strategy. But it also lacks the focus, coherence, and substance of a real strategy. The distinction between initiative and strategy is more than simple semantics. It captures the central challenge the Belt and Road faces.
Better infrastructure will not make Iran's economic success inevitable, but it certainly will shape the strategic landscape in which Iran makes its future decisions.
China’s biggest diplomatic event of the year was on May 14–15, when President Xi Jinping welcomed leaders from 28 countries and delegates from 110 countries at the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing.
Preparing for our trip along the Silk Road has been about adapting – to different regulations, technological barriers, and financial challenges.
Inspired by Marco Polo’s historic travels, we are a team of three explorers driving from Venice to Beijing this spring. Employing a sociological and economic lens, we will be retracing the Silk Road and follow the new path paved by China’s “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) initiative.
A Hunchun-Zarubino Hyperloop would propel Russia to the forefront of transport innovation and could be the first step toward the twenty-first century Silk Road.
10 books we’ve read recently and recommend highly.
There are six areas where the United States can directly influence the soft infrastructure in the reconnecting Asia footprint. All of these must be done in coordination with our bilateral and multilateral partners.
Like its predecessors, China’s efforts at unifying Eurasia are driven by several factors: a desire to boost trade, a need to find new markets for firms struggling with overcapacity at home, and a desire to set the rules of the new Silk Road.
It would be a huge mistake to ignore the significance of the reconnecting of Eurasia.
Many of the proposed projects will be delayed or never built, but those that are will transform the region.
More than any time since the collapse of the Silk Road five centuries ago, a focus on Eurasia as a whole is necessary today. Over the past two decades, Eurasia has begun to slowly reconnect, with the emergence of new trade relationships and transit infrastructures.