In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Dr. Agatha Kratz joins us to discuss how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Dr. Kratz provides background on the history and past successes of the BRI from 2013-2020. She argues that, prior to the pandemic, China’s BRI was at a low point. There were fewer contracts and increased scrutiny on past unsustainable projects and loans. Dr. Kratz contends that those pre-existing trends were further accentuated by the Covid-19 travel restrictions, deteriorated financial conditions, and disruptions in trade. Lastly, Dr. Kratz identifies the core problem with the BRI to be long-lasting debt – which can lead to debt crises – in recipient countries.
Keyword:Belt and Road Initiative
China Courts Closer Ties with Nepal: A Conversation with Gaurab Shumsher Thapa
In this episode, Gaurab Shumsher Thapa joins us to discuss the trajectory of China-Nepal relations and China’s geostrategic interests in Nepal. Mr. Thapa explains the history of China-Nepal relations and analyzes China’s motives in increasing engagement with Nepal in recent years. He also discusses Nepal’s foreign policy of non-alignment and how this serves Nepal’s interests as geopolitical tensions heat up throughout the region.
China’s Increasing Engagement with Africa: A Conversation with Joshua Eisenman
In this episode, Dr. Joshua Eisenman joins us to discuss China’s economic, political, and security interests in Africa, and the efforts it is making to achieve them. Dr. Eisenman analyzes China’s engagement on the continent through means such as the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and the creation of a Chinese military base in Djibouti. He also discusses the validity of concerns about the ability of African countries to assert agency in their relationship with China. Finally, he touches on the variables that may determine the trajectory of China-Africa relations over the next decade.
Water Challenges Inside and Outside China’s Borders: A Conversation with Scott Moore
In the episode, Dr. Scott Moore joins us to discuss the challenges that China faces in securing its vast water needs. Dr. Moore details China’s efforts to respond to the major threats facing its water resource supply, including scarcity and pollution. He also addresses the impacts that cross-border water security dynamics have on China’s regional relationships, and the opportunities created by water-related projects like hydropower plants in Belt and Road Initiative partner countries.
Re-calibrating the BRI: A Conversation with Wang Huiyao
In this episode, Dr. Wang Huiyao joins us to discuss the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and China’s vision for the project as a global cooperative effort. Dr. Wang discusses how objectives for the project have evolved since it was first announced in 2013, and analyzes China’s efforts to drive greater investment and participation from the private sector as well as international institutions. He also explains China’s attempts at increasing the transparency of BRI projects in response to criticism and concerns voiced by the international community.
Xi-Modi Summit in Chennai, India: A Conversation with Tanvi Madan
In this episode, Dr. Tanvi Madan joins us to discuss Xi Jinping’s October 2019 meeting with Narendra Modi in India, as well as how China-India relations have evolved since their Wuhan Summit in 2018. Dr. Madan analyzes the major strategic and economic factors that are shaping the bilateral relationship, and how US policy toward India affects Sino-Indian ties. She also addresses existing points of contention between the two countries, including disputes over the Kashmir region and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Chinese Interests and Policies in the Middle East: A Conversation with Jon Alterman
In this episode, Dr. Jon Alterman joins us to discuss China’s growing ties to the Middle East and North Africa region, including Chinese geopolitical and economic interests as well as investment. Dr. Alterman analyzes how China has used the Belt and Road Initiative and high-level state visits to deepen its relationships with countries in the region. He also touches on the efficacy of China’s attempt to stay out of the region’s political disputes moving forward.
Carbon, Climate, and China: A Conversation with Barbara Finamore
In this episode, Barbara Finamore joins us to discuss China’s policies toward climate change, its efforts to reduce carbon emissions, and the implications for both the country’s energy markets and the global community. Ms. Finamore examines Beijing’s progress on meeting its emissions reduction targets and how its domestic climate change policies have changed over time. She also explains China’s growing use of clean energy technology through investments in new-energy vehicles, solar energy, and wind power.