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.
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.
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.
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.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is of significant concern to India, which views the corridor as a violation of its sovereignty, according to India’s Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. However, in an interview with Nikkei, Jaishankar did not criticize the broader Belt and Road Initiative, stating that each country has the right to its own policies.
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.
Sri Lanka's Jaffna International Airport, which opened in October, received about $1.7 million in funding from India's Government, signaling that Sri Lanka's current administration is looking to countries other than China for infrastructure development assistance, Nikkei reports.
Commercial activity has increased at Sri Lanka's Hambantota Port since the controversial 2017 deal that gave China an 85% stake and 99-year lease, and China says it intends for the port to become a South Asia hub, Nikkei reports.
If China's push to build a massive, continent-spanning economic zone is to yield true benefits for all involved, Beijing must shift its policy course and embrace internationally accepted norms for the BRI, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
China's Belt and Road (BRI) has taken a beating, but its central feature of big infrastructure projects will remain recognizable for years to come.
To effectively leverage the infrastructure financing opportunities provided by the Belt & Road Initiative, countries must examine their own development strategies and build domestic skills and institutions, argues Ganeshan Wignaraja for the Nikkei Asian Review.
It is clear that China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) carries important implications not only for the world’s water resources, but also for politics in BRI countries. One of the worst outcomes would be for it to exacerbate the growing number of local conflicts over shared, and often shrinking, water resources.
China envisions a vast global network of trade, investment, and infrastructure that will bring the world closer to Beijing. To better understand how China's vision is playing out on the ground, The New York Times examined nearly 600 Chinese-financed projects and the driving forces behind them, citing data from the Reconnecting Asia Project.
Five years into China’s massive Belt and Road Initiative, the United States is trying to respond to Xi Jinping’s infrastructure-building spree. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Reconnecting Asia Director Jonathan Hillman discusses the craving for more alternatives to Chinese offers and the window of opportunity it creates for the United States.
Newly elected Asian leaders from the Maldives, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka question the "business sense" of some Chinese-funded infrastructure projects under the Belt and Road Initiative, casting doubt on Beijing's strategy for building regional influence.
Envisioning a bilateral trade deal with Sri Lanka, the Thai government hopes to tap into opportunities from China's Belt and Road Initiative without directly dealing with China.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi heads to Nepal for a meeting of the seven-nation BIMSTEC bloc, where improved trade and connectivity have the potential to help India counter Beijing's massive Belt and Road Initiative, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
Vietnam's Ministry of Investment and Planning issued a warning to its government about Chinese development assistance, citing concerns of high interest rates, project overruns, and a lack of local contribution to the projects.
The U.S.'s recently announced plan to invest $113 million in infrastructure throughout the Indo-Pacific region will have a limited impact and pales in comparison to China's multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative, according to Dr. James Crabtree of the National University of Singapore.
China has become unresponsive over FTA talks with Sri Lanka for what some observers believe is linked to the new Sri Lankan administration’s reluctance at incurring any further infrastructure debt.
AIIB president Jin Liqun announced his intent to create financial stability for the bank's 87 member countries and establish the AIIB as a multilateral development bank commensurate with the World Bank Group, Asian Development Bank, and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
A close look at the characteristics of China's port projects in the Indo-Pacific suggests that rather than resulting in "win-win" economic prosperity, they are generating political leverage, increasing Beijing’s military presence, and reshaping the strategic operating environment in China’s favor.
Sri Lanka is facing a weakened currency and economic growth on the island is at its lowest point in 16 years due, in part, to high levels of debt incurred from loans used to fund Chinese-backed infrastructure projects, including harbors, airports, and roads.
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 special report by Nikkei Asian Review and The Banker which leverages data from the CSIS Reconnecting Asia Project has found that China's Belt and Road initiative holds considerable promise for countries in need of infrastructure investment along its route, however, participation has been hampered by challenges ranging from a lack of participation by local workers and banks to unmanageable debt hangovers.
Sitting in the Indian Ocean, Hambantota serves as a warning about the hazards of China’s global infrastructure push, which could make small economies dependent even while helping them develop. It also reveals the challenges that India, Japan and others, including the United States, face in mounting an effective response.
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.
In Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, the Maldives, and Myanmar, Beijing is pulling South Asia into its orbit.
Mattala Airport in Sri Lanka, not far from the Chinese-operated Hambantota seaport, has become a point of contention in the wake of a $290 million offer from India to lease it.
Quotes and Quotas is a weekly digest of powerful phrases and facts that help explain Asia’s infrastructure push.