Belt and Road Initiative: China’s Lending Hands Come with Claws
With the economic crisis unfolding in Sri Lanka, there is a renewed interest in better understanding and analyzing the Belt and Road Initiative to prevent nations from both falling under China’s orbit and as a consequence to its “debt-traps”. This issue brief broadens the scope of analysis on the BRI by examining projects in South East Asia that may have greater geo-economic and geo-strategic significance than debt traps or deep sea ports or even power rivalry. While China has taken advantage of the infrastructure deficit in South East Asia as it has in other parts of the world, the old adage, ‘the devil is in the details’ is an appropriate characterization of the BRI in the region. This paper details the cost of roads laid per mile to the significance of special economic zones (SEZ) in the Mekong region in shaping the regional trade architecture.
China’s BRI Diplomacy: What it Means to India and India’s Rise
Introduction: In the post-COVID-19 world order, particularly, amidst intensifying great power competition and changing regional and global power dynamics, infrastructural advancement has taken on new and expanded significance. However, the […]
Amid Reports on Chinese Expansion of Bases, Sri Lanka Unveils SOP: Need for a Reality Check?
India has realized it cannot possibly balance China’s growing influence on its own, nor can it afford to have the U.S. leave the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) given China’s significant […]
China in Eurasia: Revisiting BRI amidst the Russia-Ukraine Crisis
This paper discusses China’s trade and connectivity plans under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in the Eurasian region and the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Chinese […]
Japan’s Indo-Pacific Strategy: The Link with Iran
Japan’s “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy” is linked to the Persian Gulf region. Energy resources, concerns about China’s influence on the region’s energy and transit corridors, and the suitable consumption […]
Kenya and the Indo-Pacific: The Rationale for an “Outlook” and Why Kenya (and East Africa) Matters
This issue brief argues that Kenya should carefully consider promulgating an Indo-Pacific outlook given the seismic shifts in global distributions of power and the resulting great power rivalry. The future […]
Revitalizing INSTC: Analyzing Geopolitical Realignments and the China Factor
In recent years, the rise of Asia as the geoeconomic and geostrategic fulcrum has not only realigned global geopolitics but also reasserted the need for regional connectivity. For example, the […]