A Romantic Name for China’s Economic Might
As our author completes the overland part of his long journey, he reflects on what he has learned about the BRI.
Fear of the Middle Kingdom in Central Asia
Governments like to talk up the cooperation between China and Central Asian states. But the Sinophobia in Kyrgystan and Kazahkstan is very real. “They …
Postcard from the New Silk Road: Routes of Escape
Chinese engineers and workers on Belt and Road Initiative projects often spend many months away from their families. In Kyrgyzstan, however, some see a …
China in Tajikistan: Corrupt, Risky, but Desperately Needed
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.
Postcard from the New Silk Road: A Morning Drink with the Turbine Engineer
Uzbekistan’s Kamchiq tunnel is a model project for China’s
Belt and Road Initiative.
On the “Middle Corridor,” China Is Largely Absent
In the South Caucasus region, Beijing is playing a waiting game.
A Bridge Bid Too Good To Be True
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 …
Postcard from the New Silk Road: Another Belt and Road Port?
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?
Postcard from the New Silk Road: A Highway to Nowhere
Eating hot pot in the North Macedonian mountains, a group of Sinohydro workers is roughing it.
A Road that Divides as Much as It Connects
The Bar-Boljare highway is welcomed by some, but for many here its costs are too high.
Filling a Vacuum
In Serbia, Beijing is building infrastructure and operating steel works—and seems genuinely welcome.
Postcard from the New Silk Road: Happy Commuters
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.
Big, Empty, But Full of Promise?
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.
Trade Infrastructure Investment or Propaganda Tool?
Subsidies are boosting rail freight along the New Silk Road, but it’s too soon to say if they will pay off.
Exploring the Physical Reality
Our author has embarked on a journey to investigate how China’s BRI is being implemented on the ground.