The development of the Millennium Highway, which links China to Russia through Mongolia, has catalyzed changes extending beyond Mongolia’s aspirations for national, regional, and global connectivity. Through a series of local interviews, this new study by Dr. Alexander Diener and Dr. Batbuyan Batjav explores the intended and unintended consequences of Mongolia’s efforts to build paved roads where none existed.
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Five years after the announcement of China’s Belt and Road, the ambitious drive to build new infrastructure across Eurasia has produced a mixed track record on key issues such as its energy footprint, debt sustainability, and environmental impact.
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.
Nowhere else in Europe has China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) been met with quite such a warm embrace as in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). China’s large-scale financing of highways, railways, ports, and other infrastructure to better connect China to Southeast Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe has clearly struck a chord with CEE leaders.
“Eurasia is thus the chessboard on which the struggle for global primacy continues to be played,” the late Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote two decades ago. His words ring true again as a massive infrastructure competition unfolds across the Eurasian supercontinent. If the roads, railways, and other connections that are emerging today shift flows of goods, people, and ideas, the long-term implications could be profound. This collection includes essays from our Big Questions series, in which leading experts examine this potentially epochal shift.