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Posts by : Jacob Mardell

Jacob Mardell
Author / 15 Posts
is a researcher of China's Belt and Road Initiative and contributes to the Mercator Institute for China Studies' (MERICS) BRI Tracker project.

As our author completes the overland part of his long journey, he reflects on what he has learned about the BRI.

Governments like to talk up the cooperation between China and Central Asian states. But the Sinophobia in Kyrgystan and Kazahkstan is very real. “They …

Chinese engineers and workers on Belt and Road Initiative projects often spend many months away from their families. In Kyrgyzstan, however, some see a …

Some Tajikistani businessmen estimate that only 5 percent of the Chinese money ends up in the hands of the Tajikistani people. But that hasn’t reduced their appetite to work together.

Uzbekistan’s Kamchiq tunnel is a model project for China’s
Belt and Road Initiative.

In the South Caucasus region, Beijing is playing a waiting game.

A Chinese firm won a bid to build a bridge meant to “safeguard Croatia’s territorial integrity.” European construction companies say they can’t compete against …

Planned as a Euro-Atlantic project, a new deep-sea harbor in Anaklia on the Georgian Black Sea coast made a lot of sense. With the US investor pulling out, will Tbilisi now turn to easy Chinese credit?

Eating hot pot in the North Macedonian mountains, a group of Sinohydro workers is roughing it.

The Bar-Boljare highway is welcomed by some, but for many here its costs are too high.

In Serbia, Beijing is building infrastructure and operating steel works—and seems genuinely welcome.

In Serbia and the Western Balkans, ordinary people hugely appreciate the convenience of using the new Chinese-built bridges and highways. The political impact is palpable.

The Great Stone industrial park outside Minsk currently feels like an empty monument to political ambition, but with Beijing’s backing it still has potential. 

Subsidies are boosting rail freight along the New Silk Road, but it’s too soon to say if they will pay off.

Our author has embarked on a journey to investigate how China’s BRI is being implemented on the ground.