Belt and Road Initiative

US-China Rivalry a Foreign Policy Headache for Bangladesh

CC US Department of State, modified, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Secretary_Kerry_Walks_With_Bangladeshi_Prime_Minister_Sheikh_Hasina_Wazed_in_Dhaka_(28692596773).jpg

Despite courting from Beijing and Washington, Bangladesh is unlikely to deviate from its longstanding commitment to non-alignment.

From Bangkok to Nong Khai: China’s Thai Railway Vision Edges Forward

cc Flickr Clay Gilliland, modiifed, https://flickr.com/photos/26781577@N07/12250463656/in/photolist-jEwQ3C-2qW3R-NFUDY7-bKfNCR-2fhoZ5N-r3vXv-5AcMX-bvqnz5-ZNpBGt-229HjpK-6EWzkg-7uU3FZ-bvqoeY-o8BB9p-2J9U7a-21Y18NW-nxqVcw-SMR2Hc-nR85pA-bwkVem-UFWw8S-oaoHFK-osfkLV-56xkT1-imprwc-6GPrvJ-jAB5y6-osv5Fq-7uU3Dt-FfoXi-8gLjd-bRgxvg-eYt6Gc-6PZWL8-k8ohbz-h5Vdy4-6yAif3-qq9kSK-bKfqCa-KiXmcV-exVp25-JSfqfZ-4KCeqM-a6dvzw-FGPem-ZNpBGZ-ifnR7P-4phBgd-5EWns-VYjSUe

Plans for a high-speed rail line from Bangkok to the Laotian border are moving forward after Thailand signed construction contracts for phase one of the project with Chinese state-owned firms.

Belt and Road Suffers Setbacks in Italy, Australia

cc Flickr EU2017EE Estonian Presidency, modiifed, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Two Western governments scuttled Belt and Road-linked deals this week. Is a trend in the making?

Strategic Commodities 2.0: Global Tantalum Supply & Demand

cc Hi-Res Images of Chemical Elements, modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Single_piece_of_tantalum,_about_1_cm_in_size..jpg

Next in our series on strategic commodities we examine tantalum, a conflict mineral with complex geopolitical ramifications for East Africa and beyond.

Belt and Road: Flying Under the Radar in Indonesia?

G category high speed train (G665 to Xi'an North) at Beijing West Railway Station, China, cc Fabio Achilli from Milano, Italy, modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:G_category_high_speed_train,_Beijing_West_Railway_Station,_China.jpg

While media focus fixates on other BRI infrastructure projects in Malaysia and Laos, Indonesia is quietly nearing completion of a $6 billion high-speed rail link between Jakarta and Bandung.

US-India Relations under a Joe Biden Presidency

cc US Department of State, modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Indian_Prime_Minister_Modi_Delivers_Remarks_at_a_Luncheon_Co-Hosted_by_Secretary_Kerry_and_Vice_President_Biden_(2).jpg,

A Joe Biden presidency will impact some of India’s core interests more than others. But overall, recent progress in US-India relations is set to continue.

COVID-19 Pushes Laos Further into China’s Economic Orbit

cc Flickr Christian Haugen, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Already heavily indebted to Beijing over Belt and Road infrastructure projects, the economic hit from COVID-19 has pushed Laos further into China’s sphere of influence.

East Coast Rail Link: Full Steam Ahead for China’s Belt and Road in Malaysia

Malaysia Train, CC Flickr, Khairil Yusof, Modified, https://www.flickr.com/photos/57634952@N00/15362968700/, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has vowed to go ahead with large-scale Chinese-backed infrastructure projects, notably the renegotiated East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), to boost Malaysia’ COVID19-hit economy.

Is Bangladesh Pivoting from India toward the China-Pakistan Nexus?

cc Narendra Modi, modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Prime_Minister_Modi_meets_Bangladeshi_PM_Sheikh_Hasina.jpg

Recent events seem to suggest that Bangladesh is moving closer to China and Pakistan, potentially furthering the geopolitical encirclement of India.

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