Challenging the Pacific Powers: China’s Strategic Inroads in Context

This post is reprinted from Michael Green’s foreword to the newly released report from CSIS, China’s Maritime Silk Road: Strategic and Economic Implications for the Indo-Pacific Region.

December 20, 2018
December 20, 2018  |  AMTI BRIEF

Challenging the Pacific Powers: China’s Strategic Inroads in Context

 
The Pacific Islands are emerging as yet another arena of competition between China, the United States, and other powers. Beijing’s influence in the region has surged over the last decade alongside its rapidly growing aid and infrastructure investments. On the sidelines of the 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Papua New Guinea, President Xi Jinping held a high-level meeting with Pacific Island leaders, announcing new partnerships and signing many of them up as official participants in China’s Belt and Road Initiative. While China’s financial assistance has been mostly welcomed by Pacific nations, some recipient countries along with outside parties have begun to express concerns. Many of China’s larger infrastructure projects in the region have provoked the same anxieties as those seen in Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean, and elsewhere. These include concerns about unsustainable debt levels, political strings attached to Chinese aid, and, in some cases, the potential for China to use port and airport projects as a means of gaining military access to the region. Tiếp tục đọc “Challenging the Pacific Powers: China’s Strategic Inroads in Context”

How Asia Fell Out of Love With China’s Belt and Road Initiative

Bloomberg.com

Countries are discovering that the promise of Xi Jinping’s signature infrastructure program is too good to be true.

In late August, President Abdulla Yameen of the Maldives hailed the opening of a Chinese-built bridge connecting two islands in the archipelago as “the gateway into tomorrow and the opportunities beyond.”

One month later, Yameen was voted out and the new government of the palm-fringed nation off the coast of India began to uncover the mountain of debt with which he’d saddled the country. A pro-China strongman who jailed opponents and judges, Yameen borrowed heavily from Beijing to build a new runway for the main airport, housing developments and a hospital, as well as the 2.1 kilometer (1.3 mile)-long “China-Maldives Friendship Bridge.”

On a recent trip to New Delhi, Maldives officials opened up about their frustration over the scale of the debt to China—the equivalent of almost  20 percent of GDP—and the inexplicable preference given to Chinese financing under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). In just one example, the previous government rejected a $54 million hospital bid in favor of an “inflated” Chinese offer of $140 million. Tiếp tục đọc “How Asia Fell Out of Love With China’s Belt and Road Initiative”

What are China’s plans for the Belt and Road initiative in ASEAN?

Series:
– What are China’s plans for the Belt and Road initiative in ASEAN?
– How will China’s New Silk Road shape Myanmar’s economy?
– How will China’s New Silk Road change Thailand and Cambodia?
– How is China’s New Silk Road transforming Vietnam and Laos?

The New Silk Road is China’s grand trillion-dollar strategy to link up 65 countries and 4.4 billion people. How will these developments in Indochina impact the rest of ASEAN?

In this episode, we look at massive cross-border economic zones in Myanmar and Yunnan, ASEAN industrial parks in Guangxi, and an ambitious plan for an information Silk Road which will transform the infocomm sectors of several ASEAN countries.

How will China’s New Silk Road change Thailand and Cambodia?

ChannelNewsAsia

Series:
– What are China’s plans for the Belt and Road initiative in ASEAN?
– How will China’s New Silk Road shape Myanmar’s economy?
– How will China’s New Silk Road change Thailand and Cambodia?
– How is China’s New Silk Road transforming Vietnam and Laos?

The New Silk Road is China’s grand trillion-dollar strategy to link up 65 countries and 4.4 billion people. How will these developments in Indochina impact the rest of ASEAN?

Projects such as spectacular casino resorts and mega high-speed railways are being celebrated in Cambodia and Thailand – but have also caused discontent among some locals.

How will China’s New Silk Road shape Myanmar’s economy?

ChannelNewsAsia

Series:
– What are China’s plans for the Belt and Road initiative in ASEAN?
– How will China’s New Silk Road shape Myanmar’s economy?
– How will China’s New Silk Road change Thailand and Cambodia?
– How is China’s New Silk Road transforming Vietnam and Laos?

The New Silk Road is China’s grand trillion-dollar strategy to link up 65 countries and 4.4 billion people.

In this episode, we look at a massive Chinese petrochemical hub which has been built in Kyaukphyu, Myanmar, close to where the Rohingya crisis is still unfolding. How will this project shape Myanmar’s economy?

Trung Quốc ‘mua sạch’ các cảng và gây ảnh hưởng toàn châu Âu

DKN.tv
Tóm tắt bài viết

  • Trên Địa Trung Hải ngày nay, người Trung Quốc là “hải nhân” kiểu mới.
  • Trung Quốc đang lợi dụng nền kinh tế kém hiệu quả, và các quốc gia có sự ác cảm với sự thống trị của châu Âu nhằm tung ra các quỹ đầu tư không giới hạn.
  • Bắc Kinh đã có sự hiện diện đáng kể tại các cảng biển châu Âu, khoảng 3/5 xuất khẩu của Trung Quốc bằng đường biển, và tuyến đường trực tiếp nhất đưa hàng hóa tới châu Âu là Địa Trung Hải.

Trung Quốc gia tăng hiện diện tại châu Âu thông qua dự án Vành đai Con đường, với các khoản đầu tư “mạnh tay” vào các bến cảng tại khu vực Địa Trung Hải. 

Khoảng 3.000 năm về trước, vùng Đông Địa Trung Hải trải qua những giai đoạn trị vì bởi nền văn minh Mycenaeans, đế chế Hittites và Pharaon Rameses III của Ai Cập cổ đại. Tiếp tục đọc “Trung Quốc ‘mua sạch’ các cảng và gây ảnh hưởng toàn châu Âu”

Chuyên gia: Về bản chất, Vành đai-Con đường vẫn là dự án “săn mồi” dù TQ ra sức bào chữa

Hồng Anh |

Chuyên gia: Về bản chất, Vành đai-Con đường vẫn là dự án "săn mồi" dù TQ ra sức bào chữa
Ảnh: Griffith University.

China plans super-grid for clean power in Asia

Financial times

As hydropower hits problems, China plans renewable energy for region

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China’s ambitious outbound investment strategy which links at least 65 countries along terrestrial and maritime trade corridors, will open massive new opportunities for trade and investment in frontier markets. Energy infrastructure investments are a backbone of BRI, so aligning these investments with sustainable development goals is necessary for China to navigate regional patchworks of social, environmental and economic priorities. Tiếp tục đọc “China plans super-grid for clean power in Asia”

Cambodians wary as Chinese investment transforms their country

asia.nikkei.com

Chinese investment is fueling a construction boom in Cambodia, but it is also bringing headaches. (Photo by Akira Kodaka)

Hun Sen, ruler for 33 years, faces little opposition in upcoming election

PHNOM PENH/SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia — As boom-mounted cameras swept the horizon, a drone hovered above more than 50,000 party faithful who had begun streaming noisily through the Cambodian capital well before dawn, dressed in white shirts and caps, and waving blue flags.

The modern technology captured an old and familiar scene: the unshakable Cambodian People’s Party elite out in strength ahead of a controversial general election that most observers believe lacks a credible opposition. The main Cambodian National Rescue Party was dissolved by Supreme Court order, and its leader Kem Sokha is in prison.

Kicking off the campaign for this month’s election was the longest-serving prime minister in the Asia-Pacific region: Hun Sen, the 65-year-old party chairman. Singers performed rousing favorites, monks dispensed petals and blessings, and troupes of dancers — apsaras, rowers and ducklings — softened up the crowd. At 7:15am, Hun Sen began reading from a prepared text and did not stop for 70 minutes. He was interrupted only once by a brief, almost auspicious sprinkling of rain. Tiếp tục đọc “Cambodians wary as Chinese investment transforms their country”

Lao Citizens Displaced by China-Linked Railroad Project Still Not Paid For Losses

A stretch of railroad is shown under construction in Vientiane's Na Xaythong district in an undated photo.

A stretch of railroad is shown under construction in Vientiane’s Na Xaythong district in an undated photo.

RFA

Thousands of Lao families ordered from their land and homes to make way for a high-speed railway linking the country with China are still waiting for compensation promised by their government though construction has surged ahead, sources in the country say.

Plans now call for work on the railway to end in 2021, with Chinese companies promising completion by that date despite the challenges of boring tunnels in mountainous areas of the country’s north.

Landlocked Laos expects the railroad to lower the cost of exports and consumer goods while boosting socioeconomic development in the impoverished nation of nearly 7 million people.

Under Lao Decree 84 issued in April 2016, Lao citizens losing land to development projects must be compensated for lost property and income, with project owners guaranteeing that living conditions for those displaced will be at least as good as they were before the project began.

In Chaengsavang village in the Na Xaythong district of the capital Vientiane, meanwhile, construction crews have measured and staked out the railroad’s proposed route and begun to build, though no one has spoken yet to affected households about compensation, a local resident recently told RFA’s Lao Service Tiếp tục đọc “Lao Citizens Displaced by China-Linked Railroad Project Still Not Paid For Losses”

China’s Maritime Silk Road: Strategic and Economic Implications for the Indo-Pacific Region

CSIS April 2, 2018

Download the Report from CSIS
Download from CVD

China unveiled the concept for the Twenty-First Century Maritime Silk Road (MSR) in 2013 as a development strategy to boost infrastructure connectivity throughout Southeast Asia, Oceania, the Indian Ocean, and East Africa. The MSR is the maritime complement to the Silk Road Economic Belt, which focuses on infrastructure development across Central Asia. Together these initiatives form the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative designed to enhance China’s influence across Asia. Tiếp tục đọc “China’s Maritime Silk Road: Strategic and Economic Implications for the Indo-Pacific Region”

China’s Belt and Road rail project stirs discontent in Laos

Nikkei Asia Review March 15, 2018 11:20 am JST

Belated compensation for over 4,000 affected families involves opaque assessments

MARWAAN MACAN-MARKAR, Asia regional correspondent

Upgrading Southeast Asia’s dilapidated rail infrastructure comes with social costs. © Reuters

BANGKOK — Some 4,000 families in Laos affected by a China-Laos high-speed rail link, begun in 2016 as part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, are to receive compensation, but the amounts involved and timing are unclear.

Channelled through new accounts at Banque Pour Le Commerce Exterieur Lao Public, the communist country’s largest state-owned bank, payments will be made to farmers who sustained crop damage, and to those with “residential properties surrendered to the government,” according to the Lao News Agency, the official mouthpiece of the one-party state. Tiếp tục đọc “China’s Belt and Road rail project stirs discontent in Laos”

Trung Quốc ra sức vận động đào siêu kênh Kra xuyên Thái Lan

03/02/2018 09:47 GMT+7

TTOCông trình thai nghén hơn 3 thế kỷ của Thái Lan đang nhận được sự hậu thuẫn rất lớn từ các cường quốc, đặc biệt bài toán tài chính có thể được giải quyết bởi “túi tiền không đáy” từ sáng kiến Vành đai – con đường của Trung Quốc.

Trung Quốc ra sức vận động đào siêu kênh Kra xuyên Thái Lan - Ảnh 1.

Thái Lan và Trung Quốc đã ký biên bản ghi nhớ về kênh đào Kra, nhưng chính quyền hai bên đều không xác nhận việc này – Ảnh: Maritime News

Chúng ta ngày nay chưa tiến gần hơn (đến việc xây dựng kênh đào) so với cách đây 340 năm. Nhưng vì người dân và đất nước, đây là lúc thích hợp để bắt đầu

Tướng Pongthep Thesprateep (chủ tịch Hiệp hội Kênh đào Thái Lan)

Tiếp tục đọc “Trung Quốc ra sức vận động đào siêu kênh Kra xuyên Thái Lan”

Trung Quốc nổ súng ở châu Phi báo hiệu ra biển lớn

18/12/2017 14:43 GMT+7

TTOCăn cứ quân sự Trung Quốc ở nước ngoài tại Djibouti sẽ là cái đầu tiên trong chuỗi các căn cứ sẽ xây dựng để bảo vệ lợi ích kinh tế của các công ty Trung Quốc.

Trung Quốc nổ súng ở châu Phi báo hiệu ra biển lớn - Ảnh 1.

Xe bọc thép Trung Quốc tham gia tập trận bắn đạn thật ở Djibouti tháng trước – Ảnh chụp màn hình SCMP

Khi binh sĩ Trung Quốc bắn những phát đạn tượng trưng đầu tiên tại căn cứ quân sự Djibouti cách đây hơn 2 tháng, đó cũng là những phát đạn cảnh báo cho thế giới rằng theo chân quá trình tranh giành lợi ích toàn cầu của Bắc Kinh sẽ là một quân đội hùng mạnh ở nước ngoài đủ sức để đảm bảo mọi thứ diễn ra êm đẹp. Tiếp tục đọc “Trung Quốc nổ súng ở châu Phi báo hiệu ra biển lớn”