Workers at a project site that forms part of China’s “Belt and Road Initiative,” Haripur, Pakistan, Dec. 22, 2017 (AP photo by Aqeel Ahmed).

China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative has the potential to be a win-win for China and for the developing countries in Africa and Eurasia that are involved, but only if it can overcome some major obstacles. Find out more – when you subscribe to World Politics Review. China is using its influence to build a global economic network for trade and development, with itself as the driver. China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative—known as OBOR as well as the Belt and Road Initiative, and unveiled by President Xi Jinping in 2013—has been touted as the blueprint for this new global […]

Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at Rome’s Villa Madama, March 23, 2019 (AP photo by Andrew Medichini).

On March 23, Italy officially joined China’s Belt and Road Initiative, or BRI, an expansive development strategy first unveiled in 2013 that aims to build a network of roads, railways and ports connecting China with more than 60 countries across Africa, the Middle East and Europe. In addition to the memorandum of understanding on the infrastructure-building initiative, signed during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Rome last week, the two countries agreed on a constellation of deals worth 2.5 billion euros ($2.8 billion), ranging from banking and energy to sports. The visit’s outcome reflects deepening relations between the eurozone’s third-largest […]

Muslims pray at Hagley Park in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 22, 2019 (AP photo by Mark Baker).

In this week’s editors episode of the Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief Judah Grunstein, managing editor Frederick Deknatel and associate editor Elliot Waldman discuss the Christchurch shootings, the emergence of white nationalist terrorism and its implications for national security in Europe and the U.S. They also examine Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Italy and France, and what it reveals about the European Union’s internal divisions over whether to engage with China as an economic partner or confront it as a strategic competitor. If you like what you hear on Trend Lines and what you’ve read on WPR, you can […]

A woman prays at a beach in Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, March 11, 2019 (Kyodo photo via AP Images).

Last week, Japan marked the eighth anniversary of the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that hit the country in 2011, leaving more than 18,000 people dead or unaccounted for and triggering the Fukushima nuclear disaster, one of the worst nuclear accidents in modern history. A moment of silence was observed across the country at 2:46 p.m. on March 11, the time the earthquake struck. Sports teams interrupted their practice to pray for the souls of those who perished. “We must never let the valuable lessons that we have learned from the enormous damage caused by the disaster to fade away,” Prime […]

Indonesian President Joko Widodo listens as his running mate, Ma'ruf Amin, delivers a speech during a televised debate in Jakarta, Indonesia, Jan. 17, 2019 (AP photo by Tatan Syuflana).

In recent years, the issue of Chinese investment has become divisive enough to help shape the outcomes of elections in Malaysia, the Maldives and Sri Lanka, mostly through money tied to Beijing’s huge Belt and Road Initiative. Indonesia, which is preparing for general elections next month, has welcomed billions in Chinese money to fund critical infrastructure needs, and there are signs that Asia’s largest economy will play a major role in the vote there too. Opposition candidate Prabowo Subianto has already called for reassessing Indonesia’s trade with China, declaring that President Joko Widodo, whose administration has prioritized infrastructure development, is […]

View of the Kutadi Bandar with the Tata Mundra power plant in the background, Mundra, India, Oct. 8, 2014 (flickr photo by Sami Siva).

The shallow waters of the Gulf of Kutch, an inlet of the Arabian Sea along the northwestern coast of India, are ideal for fishing, with coral reefs and mangrove forests that provide breeding grounds for a diverse array of marine life. On the gulf’s northern coast, near the town of Mundra, the gently sloping seabed and calm tides make it easy to catch local delicacies like prawns, pomfret and a type of lizardfish known colloquially as “Bombay duck.” The Waghers, a Muslim minority group, have fished these waters for generations. They maintain permanent inland villages, but from September until May, […]

Portraits of Saudi King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan line a highway outside Islamabad ahead of the crown prince's visit to tout Saudi investment in Pakistan, Feb. 17, 2019 (AP photo by Anjum Naveed).

QUETTA, Pakistan—Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited Pakistan last week and promptly pledged twice the amount of Saudi investment in infrastructure that observers had expected: $20 billion. Though it may not all be delivered, the promised money signaled the growing Saudi role in major infrastructure development in Pakistan. Until last year, such projects were being funded prominently, and almost exclusively, by China. But last fall, soon after Prime Minister Imran Khan took office, Pakistan unexpectedly invited Saudi Arabia to join the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC—the big-ticket Pakistan component of China’s huge Belt and Road Initiative, which was previously only […]