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A View of the Belt and Road from Southeast Asia

Western press coverage of China's Belt and Road Initiative is frequently filtered through anxieties about shifts in the West's own international influence. So it's very interesting to watch this new documentary about the BRI by Singapore's state-owned Channel News Asia. It gives equal time to the opportunities ...

China’s Global Development Initiative Meeting Signals Growing UN Influence

China’s Global Development Initiative (announced by President Xi Jinping in 2021) took a massive step towards global influence this week. It got the UN stamp of approval and is being integrated into its development plans like Agenda 2030.

Indian External Affairs Minister: Managing China “Hasn’t Been Easy”

India’s Minister of External Affairs, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, has admitted that his country’s relationship with China “hasn’t been easy” but said the two should find ways of working together to ensure the “rise of Asia.” Jaishankar was in New York for the ...

Pakistan Stocks Up on Chinese-Made Weapons

Pakistan is reportedly planning to increase its purchases of Chinese-made J-10 CE fighter jets and VT-4 battle tanks. The move will increase Pakistan’s Chinese-made tank arsenal to 680 and its number of Chinese fighter jets to 90.  (

China Hits Back at Debt Criticism

China rejected this week's criticism by Brent Neiman, a top advisor to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, about its "unconventional" approach to debt restructuring.  Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin cited the relative size of Chinese debt ...

Vietnam-China Ties Warm Up as Trade Flows

China-Vietnam relations saw a major uptick this week, with new commitments to trade, facilitating the return of foreign students and continued work on a possible code of conduct for the South China Sea.  These were some of the outcomes of 

Mapping BRI Infrastructure

China's Belt and Road Initiative is a notoriously hazy concept, and almost a decade after its launch, it can still be difficult to get one's head around.  The Xavier Collaborative Research Center for Memory and Identity at the University of Saint Joseph ...

The Mystery of China’s Interest-Free Loan Cancelation: Connecting the Dots

Amid China's controversial role in debt crises from Sri Lanka to Zambia and beyond, the recent cancelation of 23 interest-free loans to 17 African countries caused a lot of misunderstanding, not least because the Chinese government has still not published official lists ...

Kenya’s New President Steps Into Debt Dilemma

Kenya’s new President William Ruto faces a steep debt mountain as he enters office. Servicing the country’s debts consumed 63.5% of tax revenues in the first two months of the current financial, a rate that’s expected to continue next year. For the first time, debt ...

Ruto Decisions Raise Questions About SGR’s Financial Future

Repaying Kenya’s $3.7 billion loan to China for the Standard Gauge Railway is key to Kenya’s broader financial future. However, two decisions by the country’s new President, William Ruto, will make that much harder, raising the danger that the burden could fall on taxpayers. ...
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