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.
The announcement of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has led to speculation about the new administration's approach to the $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a flagship project of China's Belt and Road Initiative that has previously been criticized by the U.S. for a lack of transparency.
Pakistan's prime minister, Imran Khan, has announced that Islamabad will give Gilgit-Baltistanat provisional provincial status. The region is at the heart of the $65 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and includes part of Pakistan-India-disputed Kashmir.
China is reluctant to finance the Main Line 1 railway, the largest Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) project in Pakistan, at the 1 percent interest rate requested by Islamabad, which will likely delay the project's anticipated January 2021 start date, Nikkei reports.
Pakistan's federal government has initiated land reclamation and urbanization efforts on the islands of Bundal and Bhuddo, which were previously under the administration of Sindh province, sparking concern among local politicians that the islands could be sold to China as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
This case study of Gwadar port, part of a series on China’s Indian Ocean “strategic strongpoints” (战略支点), reveals that while Gwadar may one day serve as a major platform for China’s economic, diplomatic, and military interactions across the region, as of August 2020 it remains largely underdeveloped and underutilized.
Fishermen at Pakistan's Gwadar Port, part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, are protesting an incoming fleet of 20 Chinese deep-sea trawlers off Sindh and Baluchistan provinces which they fear could further deplete Pakistan's dwindling marine resources, Nikkei reports.
Pakistan has reopened two closed border crossings and opened three new ones with Afghanistan at China's urging in a move that experts believe is intended to extend the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) into Afghanistan, Nikkei reports.
Beijing has relaunched a $2 billion coal mine and power project in southeastern Pakistan amid rising tensions with Austalia, China's largest source of imported coal.
Pakistan, with the help of a Chinese loan, repaid a $1 billion Saudi loan last week and asked for their support on the Kashmir issue, although Saudi Arabia is reluctant to become entangled in the efforts of Pakistan and China to contain India, Nikkei reports.
Pakistan's top economic body on Wednesday authorized a $6.8 billion railway upgrade, its costliest project to date as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Nikkei reports.
Following an attack on Pakistan's stock exchange in June, Baloch and Sindhi separatist groups have announced an alliance ostensibly aimed at attacking projects along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a move that is likely to increase security costs for the flagship route of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Nikkei reports.
A proposed $400B economic and strategic agreement between Iran and China, including a major port development project on the Strait of Hormuz, will invest $280B in Iran's oil and gas industry and $120B in production and transportation infrastructure, Nikkei reports.
China, Pakistan and the Kohala Hydropower Company, a subsidiary of China Three Gorges Corporation, have signed a $2.4 billion deal for the construction of a 1,124-megawatt hydropower plant in disputed Kashmir, Nikkei reports.
Eight people were killed Monday when members of the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), which is openly opposed to China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), attacked the Pakistan Stock Exchange following the recent acquisition of a 40 percent stake in the Exchange by Chinese investors, Nikkei reports.
Pakistan has reduced its annual allocation to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) from $241 million last year to $159 million in the budget running to June 2021, Nikkei reports.
Pakistan has entered a joint contract venture with China to build a dam in Kashmir, increasing the country's financial ties to China and igniting new tensions with India, Nikkei reports.
Pakistan has outlawed a political party critical of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project of China's Belt and Road Initiative, signaling the country's strong ties to Beijing, Nikkei reports.
Despite the pandemic, construction along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been ordered to resume, Nikkei reports.
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. The CSIS Reconnecting Asia Project collected open-source data to analyze the initiative's progress five years later.
Pakistan and China recently signed new memorandums of understanding (MoUs) under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) during President Arif Alvi's visit to China, but experts doubt China's willingness to substantially increase economic assistance to Pakistan, including to combat the coronavirus outbreak, Nikkei reports.
A flurry of recent diplomatic activity highlights the multilateral and multi-stakeholder footing of Eurasia's North-South trade and transport initiatives. While significant economic and political challenges remain, they retain the potential to transform Eurasia's economic landscape.
The Gwadar Smart Port City Masterplan, part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, has attracted criticism due to lack of transparency and aims that some experts call unrealistic. The plan estimates over 2000 percent population growth by 2050 and will require more than $648 million for basic infrastructure alone, Nikkei reports.
Fears of the new coronavirus spreading to Pakistan have delayed projects along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in Lahore and South Punjab, including work on the Orange Line Metro Train, Nikkei reports.
China’s growing military ambition in South Asia is matched in financial terms by its Belt and Road Initiative, including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. What remains unclear is how the U.S. should navigate the new dynamic. This report addresses the question of how the India-Pakistan rivalry will play into the emerging great power competition.
Afghanistan recently began shipping goods through Pakistan's Gwadar Port, part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, in a development experts believe may increase Kabul's participation in China's Belt and Road Initiative, Nikkei reports.
In the wake of rising regional tensions due to conflict with Iran, Pakistan is working to maintain stability and advance progress on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Nikkei reports.
Pakistan’s Minister for Economic Affairs says that phase two of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, which began January 1, will address the trade deficit caused by phase one with an expanded free trade agreement and an increased focus on industrialization and socio-economic development, Nikkei reports.
In in effort to make the costly China-Pakistan Economic Corridor profitable, Islamabad is encouraging nearby countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia to participate in the initiative alongside China, Nikkei reports.
Starting today in Beijing, China will begin brokering peace talks among rival Afghan factions in hopes of increasing stability in the region and furthering the reach of its Belt and Road Initiative in Central Asia, Nikkei reports.
During a recent trip to Tokyo, Pakistan's President, Arif-ur-Rehman Alvi, expressed hope that both Japan and China will continue to invest in the country's infrastructure to help spur economic development, Nikkei reports.
The provincial government of Sindh, Pakistan is looking to Japan for funding for the Karachi Circular Railway, previously funded through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Nikkei reports.
Pakistan's Prime Minister, Imran Khan, is due to speak at a high profile China-Pakistan business forum on Tuesday where he is expected to reaffirm his country's openness to Chinese investment. His two-day visit to Beijing comes amid uncertainty over the future of projects under the $62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Nikkei reports.
A Chinese delegation was in Balochistan, Pakistan early in September, attempting to speed up progress on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects, which have moved slowly due to governmental and local criticism in Pakistan, Nikkei reports.
Pakistan's policymakers have cited financial pressures and the need to balance ties between China and the U.S. as the reasons behind slow progress on The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Nikkei reports.
The government of Pakistan has announced plans to set up a new body, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority, to expedite projects under China's Belt and Road Initiative, Nikkei reports.
This spring, when the International Monetary Fund approved a $6 billion bailout for Pakistan, an invaluable opportunity was missed to push for greater transparency of China’s Belt and Road Initiative by not requiring project contracts for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor—a significant source of Pakistan’s debt—to be made public.
The China National Nuclear Corp. finished structural work for the Hualong One nuclear reactor in the Pakistani city of Karachi this June. Chinese President Xi Jinping hopes to install similar nuclear technology at more locations along the Belt and Road Initiative, with 30 units by 2030, which is estimated to create 5 million jobs and provide a total economic boost of $145 billion, Nikkei reports.
Pakistan will slash spending on BRI projects in the next year as the government struggles to balance its finances. These budget cuts arrive amid growing recognition from Beijing of the complications involved with Pakistan and other nations incurring heavy debt to finance BRI projects, reports Nikkei.
Pakistan's prime minister, Imran Khan, visited southern Balochistan province last week following Balochistan's claims that the province was not getting a significant share of the Beijing-funded $62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. During his visit to Balochistan, Khan inaugurated several construction projects seen as crucial for the local economy, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Pakistan has diverted around $171.6 million meant for joint infrastructure development projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a flagship effort under China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), into other construction plans. This signals that Islamabad may be distancing itself from Beijing and the BRI, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
To effectively leverage the infrastructure financing opportunities provided by the Belt & Road Initiative, countries must examine their own development strategies and build domestic skills and institutions, argues Ganeshan Wignaraja for the Nikkei Asian Review.
Weeks after a meeting of government officials from Beijing and Islamabad, the environmental impact of China-led coal-fired power generation projects in Pakistan is still a hot topic of debate. Lack of disclosure on plans associated with $62 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor, which forms a crucial part of Chinese President Xi Jinping's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, is spurring local environmental concerns.
China's $2.5 billion offer to bailout Pakistan as its foreign exchange reserves dry up disappointed Islamabad, which reportedly sought $6 billion from Beijing. Pakistan's balance of payments crisis could threaten the $62 billion Beijing has invested in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, reports Nikkei.
It is clear that China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) carries important implications not only for the world’s water resources, but also for politics in BRI countries. One of the worst outcomes would be for it to exacerbate the growing number of local conflicts over shared, and often shrinking, water resources.
Saudi Arabia plans to build Pakistan's largest oil refinery near Gwadar port, the flagship project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The oil refinery, part of Saudi Arabia's new commitment to invest $15 billion in Pakistan over the next three years, could fuel competition with Beijing for economic leverage given China's significant investment there under CPEC, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Saudi Arabia plans to set up a $10 billion oil refinery at Pakistan's Chinese-funded Gwadar port, according to a statement given by the Saudi energy minister. Pakistan's petroleum minister, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, has said that the project will make Saudi Arabia an important partner in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
The government of Pakistan awarded a $2.21 billion contract to build the Mohmand dam to a consortium of China Gezhouba and Descon—the latter founded by Abdul Razak Dawood, the prime minister's adviser on commerce and industry. The conflict of interest has drawn scrutiny from the government's leading opposition party which has called for an investigation of the project's procurement process.
Pakistan is asking China to shift its investment focus from power and infrastructure projects to industrialization, agriculture, and education as regards the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
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.