A notorious ex-gangster from China is launching an $18 billion economic development zone in Myawaddy, Myanmar under the banner of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). But experts say the project's plans are centered on illegal gambling. If true, this could spell trouble for Beijing.
Browse our analysis section for news and articles on topics such as China's Belt and Road Initiative (OBOR), the world's evolving digital infrastructure competition, and the stakes for U.S. policy.
China's Belt and Road infrastructure projects in Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, and Cambodia have come to a standstill as countries prioritize fighting COVID-19, Nikkei reports.
The economic costs of the Covid-19 outbreak may limit the influence of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), as the virus halts the flow of workers and materials for BRI projects outside of China, Nikkei reports.
Chinese-funded projects along the Mekong River are increasingly facing pushback from governments and environmentalists in the region as water levels drop due to drought and the construction of large dams. In an attempt to address these concerns, Vietnam plans to add the Mekong River to ASEAN's agenda this year, Nikkei reports.
Beijing and Naypyitaw have agreed to a $9 billion rail link between Muse and Mandalay, Nikkei reports.
China and Myanmar signed 33 agreements during President Xi's visit to the Southeast Asian country, including a deal for the construction of a deep-sea port at Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone, which will give China access to the Indian Ocean, Nikkei reports.
Chinese president Xi Jinping's visit to Myanmar is expected to coincide with the announcement of the Belt and Road projects there, despite waning popularity of the initiative due to mounting debt levels, Nikkei reports.
Foreign investment, led by China, in transportation and telecommunications quadrupled to $1 billion in the last six months as Myanmar approved a number of infrastructure projects, Nikkei reports.
Japan will announce a new plan for Mynamar's Dawei special economic zone that focuses on building a port that will export to India. The proposal comes as China is building and financing Kyaukphyu port, increasing its economic influence in the country, reports Nikkei.
Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader, convened a forum for foreign businesses in the impoverished Rakhine State, urging attendees to invest in infrastructure throughout the country's rural areas. With national elections in 2020, Suu Kyi has been touring outlying regions in Myanmar promising development initiatives to shore up support for her ruling party, reports Nikkei.
Reconnecting Asia tracks infrastructure developments across Eurasia, a vast landmass that includes 60 percent of the global economy. Every day, new infrastructure projects are announced, some are advanced, and others encounter obstacles. Here is a selection of projects and trends we will be watching in 2019.
The leaders of Japan and five Southeast Asian countries agreed to adopt a new policy that pushes forward more than 150 projects in the Mekong region using official development assistance from Japan.
Myanmar and China renegotiated a BRI contract for the construction of Kyaukpyu deep-sea port, reducing Myanmar's financial burden. Construction will not proceed before certain demand conditions are met, according to the Nikkei Asian Review
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi heads to Nepal for a meeting of the seven-nation BIMSTEC bloc, where improved trade and connectivity have the potential to help India counter Beijing's massive Belt and Road Initiative, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam have announced the The Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) Fund. The fund aims to help Southeast Asia become more financially self-reliant and reduce its dependence on external economic and political giants, particularly China.
Read the full article [here](https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/Southeast-Asian-fund-can-complement-Chinese-investment-by
Chinese infrastructure investment throughout Southeast Asia has shifted the tide of opinion, simultaneously supporting authoritarian politics in certain states and engendering opposition to Belt and Road in others, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
Beijing is helping to mediate peace talks between Myanmar's government and rebel factions, aiming to calm strife on the Chinese border to clear a path for Belt and Road infrastructure projects.
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.
Japan's businesses were approved to devote a record $1.47 billion to Myanmar in this fiscal year, including investments in infrastructure.
Seven CSIS experts unpack the economic and geostrategic implications of China’s infrastructure development across the Indo-Pacific region under the Maritime Silk Road.
Myanmar has begun overhauling its national rail system starting with two major arteries pivotal to economic revitalization.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomes all ten ASEAN leaders to New Dehli in an attempt to strengthen trade and connectivity with the bloc.
Myanmar's rapid increase in trade is pushing the expansion of Thilawa port with the support from Japanese government.
In Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, the Maldives, and Myanmar, Beijing is pulling South Asia into its orbit.
At a meeting in Tokyo, the leaders of Myanmar and Japan agreed to further cooperation in the areas of urban development, transportation, and power infrastructure in Myanmar.
Thai company plans to develop industrial parks in its cheaper neighboring countries along the Mekong River, where it bets manufacturing will pick up.
Long delays in the completion of the Chinese-led Kyaukpyu port in Myanmar have drawn criticisms about the project's viability.
A fifty-nation infrastructure report reveals that Myanmar has the biggest gap between projected infrastructure investment and expected needs (an estimated $112 billion).
India has agreed to "explore and expand" Japan's role in developing the infrastructure of its Northeastern region bordering China, Myanmar, and Bangladesh as part of their "special strategic and global partnership."
Myanmar's government has appointed Set Aung as deputy minister for national planning and finance. Aung is expected to help move forward the government's 12-point economic policy which calls for the extensive development of new infrastructure such as roads and ports.
Myanmar's State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi is turning her diplomatic efforts toward China to help fill the country's significant infrastructure gap.