Decades of economic growth and government prioritization have enabled China to position itself at the nexus of global maritime trade. Beijing is pushing to leverage the nation’s resources to further strengthen connectivity, with a key emphasis on enhancing port infrastructure.
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.
Overseas visits by top officials are a critical component of diplomacy and soft power. This ChinaPower feature analyzes the foreign diplomatic travels of top Chinese officials, revealing unique insights into China’s foreign policy priorities.
China’s support for rail infrastructure development across the globe provides a unique opportunity for Beijing to drive regional connectivity and reap the resulting economic and political benefits. Much of this effort is linked to the Belt and Road Initiative, a flagship effort aimed at positioning China at the center of global trade and commerce.
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.
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.
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.
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.