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Eurasia

Russia is increasing its military presence in the Arctic | Source: Remix

An increased Russian military presence has cropped up in the region, while China aims to integrate the northern sea route in the Arctic with its “Belt and Road” initiative. The Kremlin is not only remilitarizing the region but also trying to impose its supremacy through a policy of judicial, economic and military fait accompli. These factors reflect Russia’s will to achieve strategic advantage in the region and underpin the country’s confrontational approach of treating the region as an area for military, territorial and economic expansion, as well as an arena for Russia’s ambitions of being a great power.

Source: Remix


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Middle East

China says ties with Saudi Arabia a priority in its Middle East diplomacy | Source: Anadolu Agency

China is willing to be Saudi Arabia’s long-term, reliable and stable good friend and partner, according to China’s foreign minister. Promising to “actively participate” in the Middle East nation’s major development projects, he said Beijing is ready to work with Riyadh “to further synergize the Belt and Road Initiative with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.”

Source: Anadolu Agency


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Asia Pacific

China’s Belt and Road plans losing momentum, according to a study by AidData | Source: Euractiv

General view of a construction site in the central business district of the new administrative capital, 45 kilometers east of Cairo, Egypt, 16 March 2021.

China’s vast Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is in danger of losing momentum as opposition in targeted countries rises and debts mount, according to a study by AidData. The study said an increasing number of China-backed projects have been suspended or cancelled since BRI’s 2013 launch, with evidence of “buyer’s remorse” in countries as far afield as Kazakhstan, Costa Rica and Cameroon. AidData said $11.58 billion in projects in Malaysia have been cancelled over 2013-2021, with nearly $1.5 billion cancelled in Kazakhstan and more than a $1 billion in Bolivia. The survey found that 35% of BRI projects were struggling with corruption, labour violations, environmental pollution and public protests. AidData’s study received funding from a diverse group of private and public organizations, including the Ford Foundation and USAID.

Source: Euractiv


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Asia Pacific

China owed $385bn – including ‘hidden debt’ from poorer nations | Source: The Guardian

Researchers have identified debts of at least $385bn owed by 165 countries to China for ”belt and road initiative” (BRI) projects. It found 42 low-to-middle income countries (LMICs) had debt exposure to China exceeding 10% of their GDP. It found China’s overseas lending had dramatically shifted from government-to-government loans during the pre-BRI era, to almost 70% now going to state-owned companies and banks, joint ventures, private institutions, and special purpose vehicles (SPVs). Amid growing controversy, BRI lending has slowed in recent years.

Source: The Guardian


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Latin America

China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Rejects US Abuse of Power in Destabilizing Venezuela | SOURCE: Albawaba

Beijing’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian accused the US government of bullying and abusing its political and judicial systems to destabilise the Venezuelan power structure. Venezuela remains China’s fourth largest oil importer and is also a public supporter of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. During the COVID-19 pandemic China sent Venezuela much needed assistance.

SOURCE: Albawaba


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Europe

EU launches ‘Global Gateway’ to counter China’s Belt and Road | Source: Politico

The European Union will launch “Global Gateway” as a scheme to compete with China’s Belt and Road Initiative — the massive, geopolitically influential network of infrastructure and transport investments that Beijing uses to link its exporters to western markets. The priority would be for the EU to discuss connectivity projects with Africa during a regional summit in February. China has been criticized by the West for extending its strategic reach and creating debt dependence through its multibillion-dollar infrastructure and investment scheme.

Source: Politico


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Asia Pacific

China Opens Rail Line, Trade Route to Indian Ocean Through Myanmar | Source: VOA NEWS

China inaugurated a new trade route via ship, road and rail running through Myanmar in keeping with Beijing’s dogged building spree across the Southeast Asian country to reach the Indian Ocean and points west. Analysts say it is one more strand in the ever-expanding web of transportation channels pulling China and Southeast Asia closer under the banner of Beijing’s sprawling Belt and Road Initiative while boosting China’s sway across the region.

Source: VOA NEWS


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South Asia

China seeks to extend Belt and Road Initiative to Afghanistan | Source: Eastern Eye

A metro project built under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in Lahore.

CHINA has expressed hope to extend its multi-billion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) into Afghanistan.  With the Taliban in control of Afghanistan and the complete withdrawal of the US troops, China appears to be chalking out plans to extend its BRI to Afghanistan besides investments to exploit the rich minerals and highly lucrative rare-earth mines in Afghanistan. Rare-earth metals, which are key components for a host of advanced technologies like iPhones and hi-tech missile guidance systems, were estimated to be worth anywhere between $1 trillion (£720 bn) and $3 trillion (£ 2.1 trillion) in 2020 in Afghanistan.

Source: Eastern Eye


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Sin categoría

To appease China, Pakistan appoints new Belt & Road chief | Source: Times of India

Pakistan has replaced the chief of Belt and Road projects in an attempt to lure China as the appointed energy expert is close to Beijing. The CPEC multi-billion-dollar economic cooperation had not been able to complete the projects over the last three years and to maintain the impetus that delivered a series of power plants and other infrastructure projects in the first phase of the CPEC implementation.

Source: Times of India


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Sin categoría

China Belt and Road Initiative moves forward despite pandemic | Source: Tass

Despite the challenging epidemiological situation, in 2020, trade turnover between China and the countries of the Belt and Road Initiative hit a new high of $1.35 trn.

Source: Tass


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