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On the New Silk Road


Jacob Mardell travels from Brussels to Beijing via central and eastern Europe, the Balkans, Turkey, the Caucasus, and Central Asia to investigate the state of play of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

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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.

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

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

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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 …

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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?

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

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

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

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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.

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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.