China’s Power in the Middle East Is Rising

Jonathan Fulton
Washington Post
Last month, Chinese President Xi Jinping made a three-day visit to the United Arab Emirates, his second Middle East trip after visiting Saudi Arabia, Iran and Egypt in January 2016. The most significant outcome was the elevation of the bilateral...

Pakistan Puts a Spotlight on China’s Opaque Loans

Financial Times
Imran Khan, Pakistan’s former cricket captain and newly elected prime minister, is on a sticky wicket. His victory in last week’s polls was secured in part on a pledge to ramp up spending on public services. Yet the coffers are empty and a balance...

China’s Empire of Money Is Reshaping Global Trade

Bloomberg Markets
Bloomberg
China is building a very 21st century empire—one where trade and debt lead the way, not armadas and boots on the ground. If President Xi Jinping’s ambitions become a reality, Beijing will cement its position at the center of a new world economic...

China’s Plan to Win Friends and Influence Includes Ski Slopes and Spas

Alexandra Stevenson and Cao Li
New York Times
In Thailand, a theater rigged with hydraulic seats will give moviegoers the sensation of flight. In Australia, an indoor ski slope is going up near the beaches of the Gold Coast. In the Czech Republic, a spa with Chinese medicine is under...

Where Does Africa Fit in Xi Jinping’s Worldview?

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation summit will take place at a delicate time for Chinese President Xi Jinping, as he confronts enormous challenges related to the ongoing trade war with the United States and, at the same time, huge opportunities...

Surveillance Fears Cloud China’s ‘Digital Silk Road’

Nyshka Chadran
CNBC
A major element of China’s continent-spanning Belt and Road Initiative has nothing to do with roads, ports or power plants.

A U.S. View on China’s So-Called ‘Debtbook Diplomacy’ Agenda

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
For the past year or so, senior U.S. government officials have been accusing China of engaging in so-called “debtbook diplomacy,” a tactic that Washington contends intentionally burdens developing countries with billions of dollars of loans. When...

China’s Massive ‘Belt and Road’ Spending Spree Has Caused Concern around the World, and Now It's China’s Turn to Worry

Christopher Woody
Business Insider
Since announcing its Belt and Road Initiative five years ago, China has spread billions of dollars around Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe, supporting a variety of infrastructure projects and stoking concern about Beijing's growing global sway...

China’s Rust-Belt Region Has a New Hope for Revival: North Korea

Frank Tang
South China Morning Post
China’s rust-belt region, which has been plagued by an inefficient state economy and exodus of talent, is now pinning its hopes on a new factor to help its revival: North Korea.

Somalia Aims to Be Heard at Upcoming China-Africa Mega Summit

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Around 50 African leaders are expected to be in Beijing in September for the upcoming Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit. While Africa’s largest and most strategically important countries will likely do very well, receiving huge...

Resetting China-India Relations

Paul Haenle & C. Raja Mohan from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
Following a year marked by mounting tensions between China and India, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi met in Wuhan for an informal summit in April to reset the relationship. Major points of tension dominating China-India...

Railroaded: The Chinese High-Speed Train Network No One Else Really Wants

Trefor Moss
Wall Street Journal
Terrain is easy, negotiations hard, as construction begins on politically fraught route through Southeast Asia.

Railroaded: The Chinese High-Speed Train Network No One Else Really Wants

Trefor Moss
Wall Street Journal
Li Guanghe has built some of the most technically complex railroads in China.

China’s South-East Asia Push Threatened by New Malaysia Regime

Ben Bland
Financial Times
Status as Belt and Road posterchild at risk as Mahathir vows to review Chinese projects.

Warning Sounded over China's 'Debtbook Diplomacy'

Helen Davidson
Guardian
Academics identify 16 countries loaned billions that they can’t afford to repay.

Books

05.03.18

High-Speed Empire

Will Doig
Columbia Global Reports: The story of the world’s most audacious infrastructure project.Less than a decade ago, China did not have a single high-speed train in service. Today, it owns a network of 14,000 miles of high-speed rail, far more than the rest of the world combined. Now, China is pushing its tracks into Southeast Asia, reviving a century-old colonial fantasy of an imperial railroad stretching to Singapore, and kicking off a key piece of the One Belt One Road initiative, which has a price tag of U.S.$1 trillion and reaches inside the borders of more than 60 countries.The Pan-Asia Railway portion of One Belt One Road could transform Southeast Asia, bringing shiny Chinese cities, entire economies, and waves of migrants where none existed before. But if it doesn’t succeed, that would be a cautionary tale about whether a new superpower, with levels of global authority unimaginable just a decade ago, can pull entire regions into its orbit simply with tracks, sweat, and lots of money. Journalist Will Doig traveled to Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore to chronicle the dramatic transformations taking place—and to find out whether ordinary people have a voice in this moment of economic, political, and cultural collision.{chop}

China Tells Donald Trump: We Can Help Make America’s Infrastructure Great Again

Catherine Wong
South China Morning Post
China has offered to take part in US President Donald Trump’s US$1.5 trillion plan to repair and upgrade America’s infrastructure, saying it would complement Beijing’s own Belt and Road Initiative.

How Africa Benefits from China’s Rapidly Aging Population

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
China’s rapidly aging population presents a huge challenge for the country as it needs to find new ways to pay for rising healthcare and social welfare benefits. And that’s where Africa may be able to help. Home to one of the youngest populations on...

Putin’s Fourth Term

Paul Haenle & Alexander Gabuev from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
Vladimir Putin was elected to his fourth term as president of Russia on March 18, 2018. His continued leadership has important implications for the international community, including China.

China’s Vast Intercontinental Building Plan Is Gaining Momentum

Faseeh Mangi
Bloomberg
China’s massive build program to recreate trade routes stretching from Asia to Africa and Europe is gaining momentum.

China-Africa Relations in the Xi Jinping Era

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
For much of the past 20 years, China’s strategy in Africa could be summarized in two words: invest and extract. Today, that is no longer the case. China’s agenda in Africa, and throughout much of the global south, has broadened significantly in...

A Malaysian Insta-City Becomes a Flash Point for Chinese Colonialism — and Capital Flight

Brook Larmer
New York Times
A futuristic city funded by China is rising from the sea off Malaysian coast.

Honeywell, Other U.S. Companies Look to Benefit from China's Gigantic 'Belt and Road' Initiative

Evelyn Cheng
CNBC
Over 15 U.S. companies called the program an opportunity for business growth.

Battleground Malaysia: China Extends Crackdown on Uygurs across Borders

James M. Dorsey
South China Morning Post
Malaysia has emerged as the latest battleground pitting Chinese efforts to export its security notions against principles of the rule of law.

Maldives Crisis Could Stir Trouble between China and India

Mujib Mashal
New York Times
As the Maldives’ autocratic president, Abdulla Yameen, cracks down on opposition to consolidate power ahead of another election, analysts and diplomats warn that the small nation’s troubles could provoke a larger crisis that draws in China and India...

Alibaba's ‘Digital Free Trade Zone’ Has Some Worried about China Links to Malaysia

Nyshka Chandran
CNBC
Alibaba e-commerce platform in Malaysia raises concerns over impact on local firms.

Conversation

02.05.18

Is the Belt and Road Anti-Democratic?

Nadège Rolland, Tim Summers & more
During her visit to Beijing, Shanghai, and Wuhan January 31-February 2, Prime Minister Theresa May attempted to improve her country’s trade relations with China—an increasingly important partner for the post-Brexit United Kingdom. And yet, May was...

China’s Plans for Creating New International Courts Are Raising Fears of Bias

Nyshka Chandran
CNBC
Multi-jurisdictional dealings between Chinese entities and their emerging market counterparts can pose immense regulatory challenges, especially in the realms of financing and execution.

Viewpoint

01.31.18

The U.K. Needs to Rethink Its Engagement with China

Paul Irwin Crookes & Kyle Jaros
As British Prime Minister Theresa May arrives in Beijing today, where is the U.K.’s relationship with China heading? Despite a complex history, U.K.-China relations have remained a relative bright spot in China’s engagement with the West in recent...

Theresa May Declines to Endorse China’s Belt and Road Initiative

George Parker
Financial Times
UK prime minister to raise concerns on visit aimed at boosting trade ties.

China to Develop Arctic Shipping Routes Opened by Global Warming

BBC
China has announced plans to develop shipping lanes through the Arctic to become a "Polar Silk Route"...

Chinese Contractors Grab Lion’s Share of Silk Road Projects

James Kynge
Financial Times
China’s pledge to the world is that it will create a “community with a shared future for mankind”. But that sharing is no more than an afterthought as it rolls out an ambitious programme to build transport infrastructure across Eurasia, a study...

Trump’s Insults Will Nudge African Nations Closer to China

Ismail Einashe
NPR
Last week President Trump reportedly singled out Haiti, El Salvador and African nations as “shithole countries” whose people were not the kind of immigrants the United States wanted.

How Myanmar Fits into China's Global Power Ambitions

Quartz
As the Myanmar government’s violent policy towards its Rohingya Muslims drew increasing international condemnation in 2016, the country’s sometime icon of democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi, declined to speak out for the persecuted minority.

China’s inexorable rise is helped by Trump’s retreat

Washington Post
The first stop on French President Emmanuel Macron's trip to China this week was, curiously, not Beijing. ...

What Happened on China's New Silk Road in 2017

Forbes
Year four of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is now in the books. 

Conversation

12.13.17

Is Chinese Investment Good for Workers?

Aaron Halegua, Yu Zheng & more
China’s Belt and Road Initiative is a $1 trillion plan to deepen economic relations between itself and up to 60 other countries worldwide through large investments in infrastructure, construction, and other projects. Many commentators have...

Why Is China So Worried about Trump Recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital?

Liu Zhen
South China Morning Post
Beijing has extensive economic and military relations with Israel, but also maintains close ties with Palestine.

Chinese Premier Backs More Investments in Eastern Europe

Pablo Gorondi
ABC
At a summit of 16 countries in the Hungarian capital, Premier Li Keqiang said efforts such as China’s “new Silk Road” initiative to expand trade across Asia, Africa and Europe, should be a boon to the countries that were formally part of the...

Chinese Premier Backs More Investments in Eastern Europe

Pablo Gorondi
At a summit of 16 countries in the Hungarian capital, Premier Li Keqiang said efforts such as China’s “new Silk Road” initiative to expand trade across Asia, Africa and Europe, should be a boon to the countries that were formally part of the...

A New Generation Looks at the China-Africa Relationship

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Independent filmmakers Jidi Guo and Philip Man join Eric and Cobus to discuss their new documentary about how a new generation is responding to China’s growing influence in Kenya. This is the first documentary produced by the Shanghai-based pair,...

China is Challenging the West’s Dominance in Foreign Aid

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Quietly, and largely out of sight, China has emerged to become a major player in the foreign aid space, challenging institutions and norms long established by the West. Although China’s international development budgets remain a tightly guarded...

Viewpoint

09.24.17

China, Global Peacemaker?

James Bowen
In May, Chinese President Xi Jinping gave opening remarks to a two-day international forum designed to demystify and attract support for Beijing’s “Belt and Road Initiative.” This estimated $1 trillion investment campaign aims to create extensive...

Africa Needs Infrastructure, China Wants to Build It. So What’s the Problem?

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Every week seemingly brings a new announcement of a Chinese-financed mega project somewhere in Africa. Last week’s announcement of a $5.8 billion power station in Nigeria that will be financed and built by Chinese state-owned companies is typical of...

Sinica Podcast

08.30.17

U.S.-China Relations After Six Months of Trump

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Has the last half year of turbulent U.S.-China relations and Chinese politics passed you by? Confused you? Perhaps you’d like a clear recap in plain English? If yes, then this is the podcast episode for you.

China Is Investing $57 Billion into Pakistan

Fortune
Chinese entrepreneurs are looking to explore opportunities in Pakistan, where Beijing has pledged to spend $57 billion on infrastructure projects as part of its “Belt and Road” initiative.

China’s ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative Could Be the next Risk to the Global Financial System

CNBC
China has pitched its mammoth, pan-Eurasian “Belt and Road” infrastructure initiative as a means of promoting economic prosperity and fostering diplomatic ties on a global scale.

Breaking Down the U.S. Trade Deficit with China

Paul Haenle & Yukon Huang from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
A positive relationship between the United States and China, the world’s two largest economies, is crucial for promoting global growth and development. The bilateral relationship, however, has become increasingly fraught by disagreements over what a...

Exclusive: China's Belt and Road Acquisitions Surge despite Outbound Capital Crackdown

Kane Wu and Sumeet Chatterjee
Reuters
Mergers and acquisitions by Chinese companies in countries that are part of the Belt and Road initiative are soaring, even as Beijing cracks down on China’s acquisitive conglomerates to restrict capital outflows.

As India and China Face Off in the Mountains, a New Confrontation Is Growing in the Ocean

Nyshka Chandran
CNBC
India-China ties, already weighed down by a Himalayan border dispute, are set for further pressure amid territorial concerns in the Indian Ocean. Beijing has been expanding its naval presence there, triggering worry from New Delhi.

China’s ‘Belt and Road’ Opens up New Business in Africa—for Both the U.S. And China

Washington Post
There has been no shortage of headlines proclaiming China’s growing clout in a “new world order” in recent months. This speculation resurfaced after the July G-20 summit, at which the United States reconfirmed its withdrawal from the Paris climate...

Books

07.06.17

China’s Asian Dream

Tom Miller
“China,” Napoleon once remarked, “is a sleeping lion. Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will shake the world.” In 2014, President Xi Jinping triumphantly declared that the lion had awoken. Under his leadership, China is pursuing a dream to restore its historical position as the dominant power in Asia.From the Mekong River Basin to the Central Asian steppe, China is flexing its economic muscles for strategic ends. By setting up new regional financial institutions, Beijing is challenging the post-World War II order established under the watchful eye of Washington. And by funding and building roads, railways, ports, and power lines—a New Silk Road across Eurasia and through the South China Sea and Indian Ocean—China aims to draw its neighbors ever tighter into its embrace.Combining a geopolitical overview with on-the-ground reportage from a dozen countries, China’s Asian Dream offers a fresh perspective on one of the most important questions of our time: what does China’s rise mean for the future of Asia. —Zed Books{chop}

Trump Is China’s Chump

Thomas L. Friedman
New York Times
Beijing is now quietly encouraging everyone in the neighborhood to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, China’s free-trade competitor to TPP.

Unless China Changes Tack, India Won’t Be the Only Country Opposing One Belt, One Road

Harsh V Pant
Quartz
India said about OBOR that “no country can accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

‘Islamic State Killings: China’s Censored Social Media Is in Uproar, so What’s Beijing Thinking?

Coco Liu
South China Morning Post
The deaths of two Chinese prompt widespread calls for retribution. Beijing, seeking favour in the region with its Belt and Road Initiative, remains curiously silent.

West Underestimates China’s New Silk Road, German Envoy Says

Channel NewsAsia
Western countries are underestimating China’s new Silk Road project, which is an important scheme, despite concerns it is too China-centric and so far lacking in opportunities for foreign firms, Germany’s ambassador to China said on Thursday.

China Doesn't Want To Be the Only World Leader, Says State Council Counselor

Akiko Fujita, Huileng Tan
CNBC
Rather than fully stepping into a global leadership vacuum that could be left by an increasingly isolationist U.S., China is looking to be but one of the world's leaders...

China PM’s ‘Dream Team’ Should Be Asia, Not Europe

CNBC
Last Thursday (May 29), Mr. Li Keqiang’s “dream team” became “golden partnership” as he presented in Berlin a glowing report card on a lucrative alignment between “Made in China 2025” – an innovation-driven manufacturing – and Germany’s “Industry 4...

Conversation

06.01.17

Can China Supplant the U.S. in Europe?

Rogier Creemers, Zha Daojiong & more
From May 31 to June 2, Premier Li Keqiang will visit Germany and Belgium, to “further deepen and enrich China’s relations with the European Union (EU) at a time of increasing global uncertainty,” according to an article in China’s state newswire...

China, Russia Share Much to Expand Economic Cooperation

China Daily
Roughly three months ahead of a BRICS summit to be held in China, Russian analysts saw immense potential to increase and diversify economic cooperation between Russia and China.