Central Asia, a region at the heart of China's Belt and Road Initiative, has been sharply affected by the economic downturn in China and falling energy prices due to the global spread of the COVID-19 epidemic while country-level responses to the virus have varied widely, Nikkei reports.
A trilogy of corruption and bribery cases centered around Uzbekistan's telecommunications market have reverberated through international courts, highlighting just how severe the global risks can be of deciding to pay off politically connected elites in even the most closed and far-off countries.
Browse our analysis section for news and articles on topics such as China's Belt and Road Initiative (OBOR), the Competing Visions of Japan, India, and other regional powers, and the stakes for U.S. policy.
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.
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.
As some Kazakhs express dissatisfaction with increased infrastructure investment from China, Kazakh analysts warn that transparency is necessary for success of projects, Nikkei reports.
As Russia and China sign economic agreements and deepen their ties, they will also have to work through friction caused by China’s economic advancement under the Belt and Road in Central Asia, Nikkei reports.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is seeking to co-finance more projects in Central Asia and elsewhere with the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The two organizations have co-financed two projects in the infrastructure and energy sectors and have 25 more joint projects in the pipeline.
The China Road Project, a team of researchers interested in China’s role in global development, will be traveling 60,000 kilometers over land and sea to investigate China's Belt and Road initiative (BRI), a foreign policy concept and global infrastructure plan announced by Chinese president Xi Jinping in 2013, to help close the information gap and shine a light on the multi-trillion dollar initiative.
Following their meeting at the 2018 Eastern Economic Forum, Chinese president Xi Jinping and Russian president Vladimir Putin affirmed their intention to link China's Belt and Road Initiative with the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union.
At risk of granting China valuable concessions to ease their debt burdens, Central Asian countries seek to bolster relations with China and secure a piece of the Belt and Road Initiative, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
China's "Ice Silk Road," which would create a shortcut between the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic via the Arctic, could complicate relations with Russia as the two nations compete for influence in Central Asia, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
Most countries along the BRI have urgent infrastructure development needs and many are considered too high-risk for traditional investors, the result being that their governments have been highly receptive to Beijing’s offers of financing, building, and operating infrastructure projects.
India's International North-South Transport Corridor involves India's investments in Iran, such as the Chabahar Port and the planned rail project from Chabahar to the Iranian city of Zahedan. The 7,000 kilometer corridor, which has been called an alternative to China's Belt and Road Initiative, will bypass Pakistan and connect India with Russia, potentially transforming Eurasian trade.
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.
China's regionwide infrastructure drive is proving to be a game changer in the grain trade.
Three Americans walk the historic silk road from Xi’an to Istanbul to examine globalization and the dissemination of people, products, and ideas along the largest network of trading routes in the ancient world.
In China, where high-speed rail and brand-new highways are visibly transforming the lives of workers and families, the potential of the Belt and road is apparent. However, outside of China, the BRI remains largely hype for now.
Follow three young explorers from Venice to Beijing as they study how ancient trading routes are being reshaped by China's Rise.
According to EBRD Vice President Pierre Heilbronn, the bank is eager to expand cooperation with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in Central Asia.
This report highlights essays from our Big Question series - an analysis collection that explore the drivers and implications of the massive infrastructure push taking place across the Eurasian continent.
CSIS's leading regional experts discuss how the ambitious connectivity visions of regional powers across Eurasia could re-shape the future of the super-continent.
Major infrastructure projects... can still fail economically in terms of opportunity costs either because of excessive costs or insufficient demand but their political importance can be very significant, even momentous.
Lord George Robertson, former Secretary General of NATO, discusses "one of the gravest and most preventable security risks that faces people - the risk of death and disability on the world's roads."
Done right, Asia's massive infrastructure push could improve road safety, particularly for developing economies such as Kazakhstan.
For developing economies like Kazakhstan, Asia’s infrastructure push offers opportunities to improve road safety.
China's "Belt and Road" initiative has the potential to upset traditional regional power dynamics, leading some in Central Asia to approach the plan with caution.
Drugs, human smuggling, and illegal migration will remain crucial elements of life and the economy in Central Asia in the coming years, a problem only amplified by the new Silk Road.
A new link in the North-South Transport Corridor connecting Russia, Iran, and India could have far-reaching implications for economic patterns between Europe and Asia.
The real challenge for fighting the illicit drug trade in Central Asia stems less from the supposed risks associated with opening borders or developing transport infrastructure, than from dealing with poverty and corruption.
Is the “City of Gold” a miracle or a model for development?
There are big questions about such a vast area so sparsely populated... whether it is going to be possible, on the back of this infrastructure investment, to see significant new economic activity gathering in that region.
Our “Big Questions” series brings together leading scholars, former policymakers, and top industry experts to tackle critical questions.
A significant challenge to U.S. national security is looming in Eurasia and appears to be receiving limited attention from the U.S. government: Beijing’s “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) initiative and its plan to connect China with Western Europe through overland routes across Central Asia.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's trip to Eastern Europe and Central Asia has made it clear that China’s influence in Eurasia is growing, writes Nigel Gould-Davies.
While the Belt and Road Initiative has the potential to fund valuable new transit infrastructure, it also risks stirring domestic political competition, fueling networks of graft and rent-seeking, and not fulfilling its transformative potential.
Uzbekistan's double landlocked geography, coupled with inadequate transport capacity, represents a brake on economic growth. While Tashkent aspires to become a regional hub for transit and trade, many regional political and geographic challenges currently stand in the way.
Tajikistan faces more challenges and fewer opportunities than its neighbors in a reconnecting Eurasia. From difficult geography and mountainous topography to political barriers, Tajikistan has much to overcome to maximize opportunities from regional reconnection.
Kyrgyzstan views China's emphasis on infrastructure development and regional connectivity under the rubric of the Silk Road Economic Belt as wholly congruent with Kyrgyzstan's economic development priorities and national interests.
While Ashgabat has promoted the development of physical infrastructure wihtin Central Asia, the challenges of insufficient soft infrastructure, intraregional conflicts, and an uncertain, potentially unstable regional security environment all loom large.
With the development of new transportation, communication, energy, and trade linkages, Kazakhstan is at the literal center of a larger post-Soviet Eurasia, and positioned to capture much of whatever overland transit emerges between Europe, East Asia, and possibly South Asia.
More than any time since the collapse of the Silk Road five centuries ago, a focus on Eurasia as a whole is necessary today. Over the past two decades, Eurasia has begun to slowly reconnect, with the emergence of new trade relationships and transit infrastructures.