Five nations that share the Mekong River: Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam adopted a five-year master development plan during the 2018 ACMECS summit in Bangkok. The plan vowed to upgrade roads, power grids, and other pieces of infrastructure that connect and strengthen the region.
Growth in China's investment faltered last month as the government strengthened its crackdown on shady off-books financing, drying up funding for infrastructure. A clear drop in infrastructure spending led the decline with year-on-year improvement in this category falling three points in the past year.
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.
Executives from the ADB and AIIB converged on The Future of Asia conference in Tokyo to discuss how their banks complement, rather than compete with one another.
As the Mongolian government works to build the Mongolia-Russia-China economic corridor, the country's former prime minister, Sukhbaatar Batbold, believes China's Belt and Road Initiative could help regional infrastructure, trade, and investment and accelerate economic growth.
Malaysia's Ministry of Finance is reviewing two gas pipeline projects worth $2.36 billion signed under the Najib administration, following the discovery that 88 percent of the money has been paid out despite only 13 percent of the work being completed.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad will send his finance minister to Beijing to renegotiate several infrastructure contracts following the discovery of three Chinese-funded and built projects where payments were made based on agreed time milestones and not work completed.
Cambodia is set to complete an ambitious rail project next week from Poipet to Phnom Penh, connecting the country from North to South for the first time in 45 years. However, substantial Chinese involvement in the project has raised concerns over high levels of debt owed to China, which some estimates place as high as $4 billion, or 20 percent of Cambodia's GDP.
Despite the recent cancellation of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail line, the Chinese-funded East Coast Rail Link connecting Malaysia's biggest port to the Thailand border will maintain its funding amid government cutbacks, according to Malaysia’s Finance Minister.
Malaysia's decision to cancel the high-speed rail from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore suggests that Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's new government may reevaluate other costly Chinese-led projects to cut the country's debt, Nikkei reports.
Even if Belt and Road investment declines in the future, whether for political or economic reasons, the influence of Chinese constructors and planners on regional markets will continue to be apparent, from the alignment of high-speed railways in Indonesia to the design of residential and commercial developments in city centers.
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad stated that his government may scrap or renegotiate some infrastructure projects committed to by Najib's administration. The possible move stems from his goal to cut down debt and reduce Malaysia's fiscal burden.
To control soaring local debt, China is slowing down its domestic infrastructure spending which grew at a more moderate pace of 12.4 during the January – April period compared to 20 percent in previous years.
China's Belt and Road Initiative has begun attracting international investors and financial institutions through the issuance of BRI-branded corporate bonds and other BRI-related products.
China's President Xi Jinping promised that his Belt and Road Initiative would be a "plan in the sunshine." But the BRI's outlook is darkening as some actual and potential partners raise concerns about transparency, debt sustainability, and even China's underlying strategic aims.
The Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges bought 450 million shares of Bangladesh's main exchange, beating India's bid. The exchanges allow Chinese investors to access funds for overseas infrastructure projects and strengthen financial cooperation for the BRI, a goal stated by both exchanges.
After winning the elections last week, Malaysia's new Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, is expected to re-evaluate the country's relations with China, including the issue of Chinese-backed infrastructure projects.
During his four-day visit to Japan, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang touted China's Belt and Road Initiative at a reception hosted by Japanese business leaders, inviting businesses to join Belt and Road projects and to promote bilateral cooperation.
In a meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Japan and China have agreed to set up a forum to bolster joint exports in infrastructure.
Quotes and Quotas is a weekly digest of powerful phrases and facts that help explain Asia’s infrastructure push.
In anticipation of a big trade increase along the BRI's Eastern Economic Corridor, Hong Kong-based Hutchinson Port Holdings has invested $600 million to open a new high-tech, fully automated terminal at Thailand's largest commercial port this June.
Pakistan is offering an ambitious tax amnesty program which it hopes will help the country borrow $60 billion from China and commercial sources for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
The Asian Development Bank hosted its annual meeting on May 3, during which representatives from China and Japan lobbied the bank about future lending strategies.
Sovereign wealth funds have increased their asset holdings to an all-time global high.
A close look at the characteristics of China's port projects in the Indo-Pacific suggests that rather than resulting in "win-win" economic prosperity, they are generating political leverage, increasing Beijing’s military presence, and reshaping the strategic operating environment in China’s favor.
Sri Lanka is facing a weakened currency and economic growth on the island is at its lowest point in 16 years due, in part, to high levels of debt incurred from loans used to fund Chinese-backed infrastructure projects, including harbors, airports, and roads.
On April 25, the Simon Chair's Reconnecting Asia Project hosted a conversation with Natalie Lichtenstein, Chief Counsel for the 57-country negotiations that led to the AIIB's founding and the principal drafter of the Bank's charter, to discuss her new book: A Comparative Guide to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
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.
In the face of uncertainty about how the U.S. and China will respond to regional challenges, South Korea will likely continue to opt for flexible partnerships, such as with Russia, where specific interests overlap or converge.
Since 2012, China has held an annual "16 plus one" forum on economic cooperation with 16 Eastern European states and has pledged to invest a total of $15 billion in infrastructure improvements so far.
India is likely to object to China's proposal to construct a trans-Himalayan trilateral economic corridor through Nepal, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
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.
Following a high-level economic dialogue in Tokyo this week, Japan has said that it will support China’s flagship foreign policy initiative, the Belt and Road, provided that it prioritizes the fiscal health of developing countries.
A panel of CSIS experts unpack the economic and geostrategic implications of China’s infrastructure development across the Indo-Pacific region under the Maritime Silk Road, the littoral component of China's Belt and Road Initiative.
China's Belt and Road strategy favors countries with low credit scores, according to Nikkei Asian Review's latest data analysis.
As Arctic sea ice steadily shrinks and temperatures rise, Russia and China compete for control of newly accessible natural resources and transportation routes while cooperating to finance the development of resource extraction and transportation infrastructure.
China’s $1 trillion push to build infrastructure across Asia evokes romantic comparisons to the ancient Silk Road, but there is a more recent chapter of history that urges caution. More than a century and a half ago, the United States was a rising power racing westward, building transcontinental railways that delivered limited benefits and exacted a high cost from society. Today, China has taken on that role.
Singapore has signed an agreement with China to strengthen cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative, aiming to expand the city-state's involvement in massive infrastructure projects led by Chinese companies.
China has embarked on the most ambitious infrastructure project in modern world history. It’s called the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and it’s how China plans to become the world’s next superpower.
Nepal's new prime minister Sharma Oli aims to leverage Nepal's central position in the power tussle between China and India to garner as much infrastructure investments from both.
As part of the push to improve infrastructure connectivity throughout Asia, China will develop a 750-acre logistics park in Bangladesh, adding to the nearly $10 billion Chinese investment in the country.
Japan is the leading infrastructure investor in the Philippines despite significant commitments from China. According to the Nikkei Asian Review, Japan outspent China on infrastructure by a factor of nearly 20:1 during Duterte’s first year in office while Chinese investment has largely gone to industries such as tourism, real estate, casinos, and mineral resources.
Seven CSIS experts unpack the economic and geostrategic implications of China’s infrastructure development across the Indo-Pacific region under the Maritime Silk Road.
Kazakhstan and China have drafted 51 projects worth a total of $27 billion in the energy, mining, infrastructure and other sectors between 2016 and 2022.
A special report by Nikkei Asian Review and The Banker which leverages data from the CSIS Reconnecting Asia Project has found that China's Belt and Road initiative holds considerable promise for countries in need of infrastructure investment along its route, however, participation has been hampered by challenges ranging from a lack of participation by local workers and banks to unmanageable debt hangovers.
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.
Several local communities in rural Thailand have lobbied to block environmentally-damaging infrastructure projects backed by Chinese companies sparking similar actions across Southeast Asia.
Thai industrial conglomerate Siam Cement Group seeks investment possibilities in South China and India in the years ahead. China's Belt and Road Initiative gives the conglomerate an opportunity to sell more products as the initiative stimulates spending on construction and spurs an increase in private-sector investments.
The New Silk Road Project will travel 10,000 miles across China’s Economic Belt from London to Yiwu to investigate the people, projects, countries, and landscapes involved in China's Belt and Road Initiative.