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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin are attempting to put economics at the center of their strategic partnership, but a closer look at four dimensions of China-Russia connectivity reveals a partnership of unequals that will become even more lopsided in the future.
The Chinese government is expected to endorse a new cryptocurrency backed by a basket of Asian currencies including the digital yuan, marking a new stage in international competition over digital currency adoption, Nikkei reports.
The U.S. Commerce Department announced in May that it will require companies using U.S. technology to supply Huawei or its affiliates to apply for a license, driving U.S. and Chinese technology supply chains further apart and complicating business for the U.S. semiconductor industry, Nikkei reports.
The United Kingdom is seeking a Free Trade Agreement with Japan and CPTPP membership in hopes of lowering trade barriers and increasing cooperation with allies on technology and manufacturing, Nikkei reports.
As China emerges as the new dominant trading nation, overcoming the barriers to a free trade agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom, the world's largest and fifth-largest economies, could balance China’s rise and infuse the digital future with democratic standards.
Citing the need to balance economic and national security, Australia announced all foreign investors will face greater scrutiny when bidding for sensitive assets, regardless of the size of the deal and whether the buyer is private or state-owned. Chinese companies have been major investors in Australian resources, agriculture and property, Nikkei reports.
In competing with China, the United States and its democratic allies should place the free flow of data and an open global digital economy at the heart of their strategy.
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.
Starting in June, public infrastructure operators in China will undergo a cybersecurity review which could exclude foreign companies from supplying IT equipment, Nikkei reports.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, airlines throughout Asia are shifting from passenger to cargo flights and increasing exports from China, one of world's first economies to begin re-opening, to offset their losses, Nikkei reports.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, several countries are reassessing supply chains dominated by China, including Japan, where Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pushed companies to diversify, Nikkei reports.
The recent outbreak of African swine flu in China has pushed demand for imported meat to record numbers, but pork exporters globally face difficulty shipping meat to China due to quarantines that delay shipping within the country. Experts suggest it could take six weeks for shipping chains to recover, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Russia is courting India to join the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), a move that would boost bilateral economic ties and enhance the trade bloc's international status, Nikkei reports.
Pakistan’s Minister for Economic Affairs says that phase two of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, which began January 1, will address the trade deficit caused by phase one with an expanded free trade agreement and an increased focus on industrialization and socio-economic development, 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.
As the U.S.-China trade war drives Chinese enterprises and other companies to relocate, Southeast Asian countries are constructing industrial parks and using tax incentives to attract manufacturers. As a result, Chinese corporate investment in Thailand is expected to increase by 30 percent this year, and foreign direct investment in Malaysia roughly doubled, Nikkei reports.
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.
While Belt and Road Initiative infrastructure projects have sparked concerns in recipient countries, the shift of Chinese manufacturing overseas has been embraced when it comes with technology transfer and job creation for locals, Nikkei reports.
In this episode, the Trade Guys and Andrew discuss the Trump administration's designation of China as a currency manipulator. They also welcome a special in-house guest, Jonathan Hillman, who is a senior fellow with the CSIS Simon Chair in Political Economy and directs the Reconnecting Asia Project. Reconnecting Asia tracks new roads, railways, ports, and other infrastructure projects
On Thursday, July 18, the CSIS Energy & National Security Program hosted a conference featuring keynote remarks by Frank Fannon, Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Energy Resources at the U.S. Department of State, and Senator Cory Gardner on engaging with Asia to develop mutually beneficial digital infrastructure and energy investment.
If the United States and its allies want to prevent China from dominating next-generation technologies and networks, they must incentivize Western companies to take greater risks in next-generation markets.
The freight unit of Germany's state-owned railroad group Deutsche Bahn plans a major increase in capacity for China-bound shipments, counting on continued support for overland transport under China's Belt and Road connectivity project, reports Nikkei Asian Review.
It is critical that public-sector officials responsible for infrastructure development—both at the local and national levels—commit to transparent practices to secure sustainable financing mechanisms.
The U.S.-China trade war has spurred ASEAN members to complete the negotiation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The Asian leaders will also look to find areas of cooperation in digital infrastructure, reports Nikkei Asian Review.
Taking effect Friday, The economic partnership agreement between Japan and the European Union incorporates wide-ranging regulations on data transfer and intellectual property protection. The trade deal could help establish precedent for the digital field, Nikkei reports.
In 2017, China surpassed South Korea to become the world’s second-largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) importer. In a few years, it might overtake Japan. But how is China securing its LNG needs?
The Chinese government is set to expand infrastructure spending by nearly $10 billion to stimulate the economy amid the growing risk of a financial slowdown as its trade war with the U.S. escalates, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
According to an expert with the German Marshall Fund, a prolonged U.S.- China trade war will make it difficult for China to afford expensive foreign policy ventures, such as its Belt and Road Initiative.
Quotes and Quotas is a weekly digest of powerful phrases and facts that help explain Asia’s infrastructure push.
China is offering $1.7 million to a six-country group along the Mekong River to boost regional trade and ease concerns related to Beijing's massive hydroelectric dam projects along the waterway.
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.
As Asia’s powers advance plans for a number of economic corridors to connect the continent, it is important to understand what exactly an economic corridor entails.
Just 10 years ago, regular direct freight services from China to Europe did not exist. Today, they connect roughly 35 Chinese cities with 34 European cities. But despite their rapid advances, these lines must compete with maritime routes that have dominated commerce between Asia and Europe since the late fifteenth century. It remains to be seen how much trade they can capture.
Infrastructure improvements within the Eurasian Economic Union have fueled interest in a free trade agreement between Thailand and the Russia-led bloc.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen hopes to wean the island off nuclear power by 2025. To reach its goal, Taiwan is investing in renewable energy sources including a $827 million deal with Japanese company Hitachi for wind turbines.
British prime minister Theresa May is expecting $12.8 billion in commercial deals with China. The agreements would focus mainly on the fields of finance, agriculture, science and technology, as well as President Xi Jinping's flagship Belt and Road Initiative.
Myanmar's rapid increase in trade is pushing the expansion of Thilawa port with the support from Japanese government.
The evolving nature of international trade due to China's Belt and Road Initiative will be one key trend to watch in 2018.