Skip to main content

Clingendael: Silk Road Headlines


1 August 2019 

East and Southeast Asia have long been the main stage for geopolitical competition between China and the United States. But as this competition intensifies and China keeps expanding its influence beyond its home region, other parts of the world are increasingly experiencing the effects of Sino-US rivalry. In a piece for East Asia Forum, Jared Ward writes that ‘how Caribbean nations choose between China and the United States will be less about spheres of influence and more about projects capable of jumpstarting economies’ [Caribbean countries turn to China’s Belt and Road]. According to Ward, the US ‘has become an absent steward’ over the region, with American aid decreasing and some ambassador posts at US embassies in the region remaining empty. As in many other developing regions, countries in the Caribbean are in great need of more and better infrastructure. This has created possibilities for China to expand its role in the region. Several Caribbean countries have signed bilateral memoranda of understanding with China to cooperate on the Belt and Road initiative. Still, in terms of actual projects for infrastructure development the impact of BRI remains limited. The largest projects so far apparently relate to road construction in Jamaica.

It is particularly striking that Chinese companies have not been involved in large-scale financing, construction or management of ports. Creating new transhipment hubs could potentially be beneficial for the region as a whole and also strengthen economic integration and diplomatic ties between the region and China. The main instances of port management in the region that are (to some extent) related to China are container terminals in the Bahamas (part of a deep-water port close to Miami in the US) and Panama (on both ends of the Panama Canal). These terminals are operated by Hutchison Ports, a Hong Kong company that is privately-owned. Hutchison’s involvement in the region predates the start of BRI in 2013. In other regions, such as in Europe and around the Indian Ocean, Chinese state-owned enterprises have become involved in regional ports. Last may COSCO Shipping Ports acquired a 60% stake in the port of Chancay in Peru. The company intends to spend US$3 billion to develop Chancay into a major multi-purpose port. This is COSCO’s first large investment in a Latin American port. It seems only a matter of time before Chinese state-owned enterprises will become more active in the Carribean region. This would contribute to a further spill-over of geopolitical tensions from East Asia into the rest of the world.

Frans-Paul van der Putten

This week's Silk Road Headlines

How Many Wind Turbines and Solar Panels Does China’s Belt & Road Initiative Need? [Silk Road Briefing]

Britain’s New PM Boris Johnson Praises The Belt & Road Initiative – Could An EU Exit Mean A UK BRI Deal? [Silk Road Briefing]

China’s Risky Bets – Analysis [Eurasia Review]

Caribbean countries turn to China’s Belt and Road [East Asia Forum]

Kenya’s Chinese-built railway is a hit with travellers, but is this safari line a massive white elephant? [SCMP]

‘Hidden debts’ reveal risks of China’s lending spree [Asia Times]

Why Unsustainable Chinese Infrastructure Deals Are a Two-Way Street [Carnegie Tsinghua]

China reportedly signs secret deal to station troops in Cambodia [The Guardian]

Belt and Road Is Here to Stay. Opinions on China’s Project Are Getting Ever More Polarized [Valdai Club]

China's BRI Bet in the Middle East [The Diplomat] 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

SSG Commando Muddassir Iqbal of Pakistan Army

“ Commando Muddassir Iqbal was part of the team who conducted Army Public School operation on 16 December 2014. In this video he reveals that he along with other commandos was ordered to kill the innocent children inside school, when asked why should they kill children after killing all the terrorist he was told that it would be a chance to defame Taliban and get nation on the side. He and all other commandos killed children and later Taliban was blamed.
Muddassir Iqbal has deserted the military and now he is  with mujahedeen somewhere in AF PAK border area”
For authenticity of  this tape journalists can easy reach to his home town to interview his family members or   ISPR as he reveals his army service number”
Asalam o Alaikum: My name is Muddassir Iqbal. My father’s name is Naimat Ali. I belong to Sialkot divison (Punjab province), my village is Shamsher Poor and district, tehsil and post office  Narowal. Unfortunately I was working in Pakistan army. I feel embarrassed to tell you …

The Rise of China-Europe Railways

https://www.csis.org/analysis/rise-china-europe-railways

The Rise of China-Europe RailwaysMarch 6, 2018The Dawn of a New Commercial Era?For over two millennia, technology and politics have shaped trade across the Eurasian supercontinent. The compass and domesticated camels helped the “silk routes” emerge between 200 and 400 CE, and peaceful interactions between the Han and Hellenic empires allowed overland trade to flourish. A major shift occurred in the late fifteenth century, when the invention of large ocean-going vessels and new navigation methods made maritime trade more competitive. Mercantilism and competition among Europe’s colonial powers helped pull commerce to the coastlines. Since then, commerce between Asia and Europe has traveled primarily by sea.1Against this historical backdrop, new railway services between China and Europe have emerged rapidly. Just 10 years ago, regular direct freight services from China to Europe did not exist.2 Today, they connect roughly 35 Chinese…

China's Raise as a Maritime Power

China's Rise as a Maritime PowerOcean Policy from Mao Zedong to Xi JinpingTAKEDA Jun’ichiSenkaku IslandsApr 23, 2014 PDF Download1. IntroductionThe international community has been viewing China's recent moves relating to the seas as representing "maritime expansion," and the Chinese themselves have come to talk about making their country a maritime power. In the political report he delivered in the autumn of 2012 to the eighteenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which stands at the top of the country's power structure, General Secretary Hu Jintao declared, "We should enhance our capacity for exploiting marine resources, develop the marine economy, protect the marine ecological environment, resolutely safeguard China's maritime rights and interests, and build China into a maritime power."1 This was Hu's final report as the top leader of the CPC; after delivering it he stepped down from his posts as general secretary and chairm…