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.
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.
This paper discusses the geopolitical dynamics of the Indo-Pacific, including the impacts of Covid-19, and emerging foreign policy initiatives, and offers recommendations for how Japan can solidify a comprehensive leadership role in this critical, multipolar region.
On September 29, CSIS hosted an online discussion of Jonathan Hillman's new book on China's Belt and Road Initiative, The Emperor’s New Road: China and the Project of the Century, moderated by Axios China reporter Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian.
The U.S. has accelerated efforts to sell U.S. military equipment to Bangladesh in a perceived attempt to balance against China's growing economic influence and infrastructure investment in the South Asian country, Nikkei reports.
The Covid-19 pandemic has threatened Bangladesh's record of strong economic growth over the past decade which has caused the government to consider new sources of infrastructure development financing, including foreign remittances and foreign reserves, but the International Monetary Fund has urged caution, 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.
Bangladesh is seeking $700 million in emergency financing from the International Monetary Fund in addition to budget support from multilateral banks including the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, 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.
With a potential hydropower capacity of at least 40,000 megawatts from its Himalayan rivers, Nepal is looking to export some of its excess hydropower energy to its neighbors. However, rocky relations between Kathmandu and New Delhi, along with domestic unrest in Nepal have put these plans in doubt, 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.
On the sidelines of the Group of 20 Summit in Osaka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a trilateral meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss areas for cooperation on connectivity and infrastructure in the Indo-Pacific, Nikkei reports.
Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's political party has won a super majority in the country's parliamentary elections. The president's party ran on an anti-corruption message that stressed the need to investigate Chinese-financed infrastructure projects that have dramatically increased the country's debt-burned, reports Nikkei.
Huawei has mounted a full-court press to allay India's security concerns about adopting the Chinese telecommunication company's 5G equipment. Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan's enthusiastic integration of Huawei's low-cost equipment into their mobile networks has been heralded by the company as examples of why New Dehli's concerns are overblown, 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.
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.
China's Belt and Road Initiative is transforming Nepal's domestic infrastructure through new roads, hydropower projects, and other industrial projects. Nepal has accommodated Chinese political interests to keep Chinese investments and exports coming, reports Nikkei.
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, promised to invest up to $100 billion in India's economy in the coming years, including in areas such as infrastructure, energy, and refining. The Crown Prince's visit to New Delhi follows a stop in neighboring Pakistan, where he signed $20 billion worth of investments in the country's flagging economy. The Crown Prince's next stop? Beijing.
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.
China is facing new challenges after billions of dollars have been invested into Asia through Belt and Road infrastructure projects. BRI funds have increasingly flowed into Asia, accounting for 39 percent of the project's total contract value from January 2014 to June 2018, outpacing funding for Africa, which has received 30 percent.
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.
China Three Gorges Corp, operator of the world's largest hydropower plant, is turning to projects offshore as domestic costs soar and space runs out on China's crowded rivers. The company, which already has business in more than 40 countries, will focus mostly on South Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa, and Latin America, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Newly elected Asian leaders from the Maldives, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka question the "business sense" of some Chinese-funded infrastructure projects under the Belt and Road Initiative, casting doubt on Beijing's strategy for building regional influence.
Envisioning a bilateral trade deal with Sri Lanka, the Thai government hopes to tap into opportunities from China's Belt and Road Initiative without directly dealing with China.
Energy projects account for more than 60 percent of the roughly $62 billion in investment along the China-Pakistan Economic Corrdior. While CPEC's power plants have the potential to greatly increase access to electricity for Pakistan’s population, they could also pose serious risks to surrounding wildlife.
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.
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.
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.
Japan, the U.S., and India have agreed to work together on infrastructure projects in the Indo-Pacific region focusing on South and Southeast Asian nations such as Nepal, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. The trilateral is calling for a more transparent and sustainable approach in line with international standards to counter China’s infrastructure development under its Belt and Road initiative.
New plans to tap mineral wealth face old problems of violence, instability and corruption
Mattala Airport in Sri Lanka, not far from the Chinese-operated Hambantota seaport, has become a point of contention in the wake of a $290 million offer from India to lease it.
Quotes and Quotas is a weekly digest of powerful phrases and facts that help explain Asia’s infrastructure push.
It is time to expand transparent, high-standard regional lending mechanisms – tools that will actually help nations instead of saddle them with mounting debt.
Quotes and Quotas is a weekly digest of powerful phrases and facts that help explain Asia’s infrastructure push.
Malaysia's largest mobile telecom company by revenue, Axiata Group, is buying 13,000 telecommunications towers in Pakistan in a deal worth $940 million as it seeks to consolidate its footprint in the region.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency will provide its largest yen loan to date, equal to an estimated $4.51 billion, for the construction of a port and coal-fired power plant in Bangladesh.
The "New Southbound" strategy announced by Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen in May 2016 has struggled to improve economic ties with its 18 destination countries in South and Southeast Asia and the Pacific, in part due to China's growing economic and political clout with the target countries.
Indian companies have started bidding to develop Iran's Chabahar port, a strategic project for which India committed to invest an initial $500 million during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's state visit in March.
India plans to spend a record $59 billion on projects such as rail, roads, and ports this year. Yet, despite the push for new infrastructure which is being spearheaded by Indian President Narendra Modi, many projects are struggling to attract enough funding to get off the ground.
Nowhere other than India is the railway so indelibly connected with the image of the nation. Just as there is no single country on earth that has such a broad cultural, ethnic, and racial mix as India, there is also no railway system that has played and, crucially, continues to play such a fundamental role.
Bangladesh's State Minister for Foreign Affairs joined a number of experts at the International Conference on The Future of Asia Tuesday in calling for greater integration and connectivity among members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation in order to promote trade and economic growth.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor may have a great effect in Pakistan and on Pakistan-China relations, but it does not address issues of connectivity in South Asia.
Better infrastructure will not make Iran's economic success inevitable, but it certainly will shape the strategic landscape in which Iran makes its future decisions.
Pakistan has recently come to an agreement with U.S.-based company InternationalFfinance Corporation on creating a Pakistan Infrastructure Bank.
Since it was launched two years ago, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has sparked praise, skepticism, and even violence, resulting in widespread confusion about what’s driving this $55 billion energy and infrastructure effort, and how it will impact the region.
Gilgit-Baltistan has a rich history of connections to the Ancient Silk Road. Today the region once again finds itself at the intersection of a new Silk Road being paved by China, despite geographic and political challenges.