The Strategy of Influence behind China’s Belt and Road Initiative

China has systematically presented its Belt and Road – or One Belt, One Road – Initiative (BRI) as an international development project, destined to build a “community with a shared future for mankind” throughout Eurasia and beyond. In official discussions and statements, Beijing has carefully avoided the word “strategy,” which might have created the impression that the generous offer of massive investments in infrastructure along the new Silk Road conceals in reality an imperial and hegemonic design. Nonetheless, suspicions as to the real motifs of the BRI persist, especially in light of the Chinese military buildup and reforms undertaken in recent years. Read more ...

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Three Take-Outs from the Central Asian Presidential Meeting

On 15th of March, the close celebration of Nowruz brought together in Astana the heads of four of the five Central Asian states, with the notable exception of Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, president of Turkmenistan, who was instead represented by the speaker of the Parliament, Akja Nurberdyeva. Hosted by Kazakhstan, at the initiative of the Uzbek president, Shavkat Mirziyoev, the summit was praised post factum as a significant step for closer regional cooperation. Read more ...