Competing visions for regional integration and development in Northeast Asia speak to its potential global significance. But for now, Northeast Asian development remains mostly promise and, even where actual progress is made, it tends to stir no shortage of controversy.
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Negotiations between North and South Korea have revived prospects for reconnecting the Korean peninsula. A critical aspect of connectivity is energy infrastructure, which will require analysis and technical planning to make the most of any future political openings. This series of case studies underscores the poor state of North Korea’s existing energy infrastructure, illustrates different models for delivering projects, and considers the strategic implications of different paths forward for the peninsula’s energy connections.
While most heads were turned to the East-West transport arteries spearheaded by China’s Belt and Road investments, activity along the lesser known North-South corridors has been slowly gaining momentum. Like their East-West cousins, the North-South routes consist of a bundle of land and sea multimodal corridors and connect South Asia to Northern Europe via the Persian Gulf and the Caspian region. Unlike the China-sponsored Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects, however, the development of the North-South corridors follows a more multilateral and multi-stakeholder approach.
Historically, Kazakhstan’s economic potential has been constrained by geographic extremes and uneven development. To address these challenges, the government has emphasized investment in transportation networks and urban economic centers, achieving steady growth and reducing inequality as a result, yet some risks remain.
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.