, China COSCO Shipping Corp. has completed several trial trips on Arctic shipping routes, and Chinese and Russian companies are cooperating on oil and gas exploration in the area and to advance comprehensive collaboration on infrastructure construction, tourism and scientific expeditions. A report from the World Pensions Council (WPC) estimates that Asia, excluding China, requires up to US$900 billion of infrastructure investments per year over the next decade, mostly in debt instruments, 50% above current infrastructure spending rates. International efforts, such as the Paris Agreement, aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Chinese leaders were reportedly surprised by such pushback, and BRI investment began to slow in late 2018. ", Jones, Lee, and Jinghan Zeng. The Central belt passes through Central Asia and West Asia to the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean. According to China’s official statistics, 49 of the 54 countries (i.e. Besides a zone largely analogous to the historical Silk Road, an expansion includes South Asia and Southeast Asia. BCECC NEWSLETTER: Opportunities for Belgian companies in the Belt & Road Initiative The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was unveiled in 2013 by China’s president Xi Jinping. Perhaps more importantly, for the first time, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) compiled an official list of participating BRI nations and approved projects. "Reordering China, respacing the world: Belt and Road Initiative (一带一路) as an emergent geopolitical culture. As of 2015, China announced that over one trillion yuan (US$160 billion) of infrastructure related projects were in planning or construction. "China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Japan’s Response: from Non-participation to Conditional Engagement. Jonathan E. Hillman, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, says the United States could use BRI projects as a way to have China pay for infrastructure initiatives in Central Asia that are also in the U.S. interest. , South Korea has tried to develop the "Eurasia Initiative" (EAI) as its own vision for an east–west connection. Launched in 2013 by President Xi Jinping, the vast collection of development and investment initiatives would stretch from East Asia to Europe, significantly expanding China’s economic and political influence. Others claim that China is using BRI funds to gain influence in Balkan countries that are on track to become EU members, thereby providing Chinese access to the heart of the European Union’s common market. Please contact the Belgian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce (BCECC) in case you need more information about the Belt and Road Initiative and the opportunities for Belgian companies. ], The delegates of the conference were representatives of the leadership of Russian and corporations (Gazprom, Lukoil, Rosatom, Rosgeologiya, Vnesheconombank, Morneftegazproekt, Murmanshelf, Russian Helicopters, etc. Ethan Masood: How China is redrawing the map of world science.  China has already invested billions of dollars in several South Asian countries like Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to improve their basic infrastructure, with implications for China's trade regime as well as its military influence. Initiative is a full service global media agency built to grow brands through culture. French President Emmanuel Macron has urged prudence, suggesting during a 2018 trip to China that the BRI could make partner countries “vassal states.” Other skeptics connect the BRI with climate change. Use of the route peaked during the first millennium, under the leadership of first the Roman and then Byzantine Empires, and the Tang Dynasty (618–907 CE) in China. The Belt and Road isn’t a trade pact, it’s not a free trade area, it isn’t a customs zone, it isn’t a treaty organization, it isn’t even anyone’s Marshall Plan. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience.  Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton described BRI as "a propaganda initiative from China" that brings an "enormous amount of foreign interference" and "Victoria needs to explain why it is the only state in the country that has entered into this agreement". Many leaders on the continent are demanding debt forgiveness, and The Economist forecasts a wave of defaults on these loans. The new partners signed a Memorandum of Understanding worth €2.5 billion across an array of sectors such as transport, logistics and port infrastructure. I'm a perpetually traveling writer and documentary filmmaker who focuses on New Silk Road development. In my view this would not constitute a Belt and Road project.”. Harry de Wilt: Is One Belt, One Road a China crisis for North Sea main ports? “Navigating Sino-Thai ‘rocky’ bilateral ties: The geopolitics of riverine trade in the Greater Mekong Subregion.” Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space 38.5 (2020): 826-833. (The Asian Development Bank estimated that the region faces a yearly infrastructure financing shortfall of nearly $800 billion.) But are there also any opportunities for Belgian companies in light of the Belt & Road Initiative? National Security and Defense Program, Right-Wing Extremists: A Looming Threat to the U.S. Election, In Brief The agency’s approach to rapidly interpreting and activating on cultural data signals – Cultural Velocity ™ – creates relevant, long-lasting consumer connections that drive business results. As a consequence, it is clear that this will also benefit sectors in which Belgian companies are strong global niche players, such as for example logistics, energy and environment, machines and equipment, financial and professional services, healthcare and life sciences, but also tourism and E-commerce. President Xi announced the initiative during official visits to Kazakhstan and Indonesia in 2013. The maritime silk road runs with its connections from the Chinese coast to the south via Hanoi to Jakarta, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur through the Strait of Malacca via the Sri Lankan Colombo towards the southern tip of India via Malé, the capital of the Maldives, to the East African Mombasa, from there to Djibouti, then through the Red Sea via the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean, there via Haifa, Istanbul and Athens to the Upper Adriatic region to the northern Italian hub of Trieste with its international free port and its rail connections to Central Europe and the North Sea. Then Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli, who was also a member of the 7-man Politburo Standing Committee, was named leader of the group, and Wang Huning, Wang Yang, Yang Jing, and Yang Jiechi named deputy leaders. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Analysts estimate the largest so far to be the estimated $60 billion* China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a collection of projects connecting China to Pakistan’s Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea. in World Cargo News, 17 December 2019. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was unveiled in 2013 by China’s president Xi Jinping. , As a result, Poland, the Baltic States, Northern Europe and Central Europe are also connected to the maritime silk road and logistically linked to East Africa, India and China via the Adriatic ports and Piraeus. The Karot Hydropower Project, 50 km (31 mi) from Islamabad, Pakistan is the first project. To date, more than sixty countries—accounting for two-thirds of the world’s population—have signed on to projects or indicated an interest in doing so. In 2016, Japan committed to spending $110 billion on infrastructure projects throughout Asia. firstname.lastname@example.org , It has been suggested by some scholars that critical discussions about an evolving BRI and its financing needs transcend the "debt-trap" meme. The Belt and Road Initiative, reminiscent of the Silk Road, is a massive infrastructure project that would stretch from East Asia to Europe. However, when we whittle away all the things that the Belt and Road is not, there isn’t much left to see.  The BRI is considered a strategic element within the foreign policy of the People's Republic of China, and was incorporated into its constitution in 2017. Is it a blanket term for all Chinese overseas economic, social and political activities? But in 2020, we still struggle to discern what the BRI is from what it isn’t.  Critics use the term debt trap diplomacy to claim China intentionally extends excessive credit to a debtor country with the alleged intention of extracting economic or political concessions from the debtor country when it becomes unable to honor its debt obligations (often asset-based lending, with assets including infrastructure). Finally. , In 2018, the premier of the southeastern Australian state of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, signed a memorandum of understanding on the Belt and Road Initiative to establish infastructure ties and further relations with China. Some experts are skeptical of such an alliance, which they argue would be economically asymmetrical. Twitter LinkedIn. The * denotes that we could not find independent information about the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding to become an official “country of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Philippines has adjusted its policy in favor of Chinese claims in the South China Sea under Philippines President Rodrigo Roa Duterte who expects support of his plans for massive infrastructure expansion. The land corridors include:. The initiative was incorporated into the Constitution of the People's Republic of China in 2017.
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