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.
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The Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank’s (AIIB) response to Covid-19 may determine its emerging role in development finance, for good or ill. While it has responded quickly and substantially to the pressing needs of its members, these actions risk contributing to debt risks, institutional overreach, and perceived favoritism towards Beijing.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that was officially launched in April 2015, promised transformational gains. Five years later, a quarter of announced projects have been completed, energy projects dominate, and industrialization efforts are lagging, according to data collected by the CSIS Reconnecting Asia Project.
Questions of economic development, military power projection, political influence, and global economic suzerainty form the backdrop for what is emerging as a global competition centered on the most economically dynamic region of the world—Asia. And infrastructure development is at the center of that contest.
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.