Central Asia: Forward Defence of Freedom

The Euro-transatlantic view of the Russian invasion of Ukraine largely ignores its significance for Central Asia. The Kremlin’s martial stop signal for further NATO expansion should probably also send a message to Russia’s eastern neighbours: We are still capable of defending our sphere of influence and interests in the region. The outcome of the Ukraine war is therefore also of decisive importance for the future credibility of this claim.

Newsletter October 2022

CONTENTS: Posts: Upgrade for Belt&Road to BRI 3.0? / The Dance Around China’s Overseas Projects // News: Russland und China bauen Brücken in Fernost / Mongolei: Kooperation mit Skylla und Charybdis // Countercurrents: China-Watch / Environmental Justice Atlas / Internationale Solidarität mit ‚Riders’ in China // Reviews: Redefining Asia as ‚Indo-Pacific’

Upgrade for Belt&Road to BRI 3.0?

In the report of General Secretary Xi Jinping for the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Belt&Road was only mentioned in passing. Even in the speeches of other top politicians, the former flagship project, with which the government in Beijing has stirred up the global development discourse since 2013, hardly figures anymore. Some observers therefore already want to declare BRI dead.

The Dance Around China’s Overseas Projects

China dominates the world in its overseas development finance into power plants, mines, dams, and other infrastructure. However, while many projects sail through, a good many get stalled. The results have less to do with Beijing and more with the strength of the host country partners. There is a complex dance between governments, elites, and bureaucrats to win the best “deal” with China, including Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects. These deals may benefit not just the economy, but also may empower one of these three actors. 

Newsletter August/September 2022

CONTENTS: Posts: USA-China: Freunde verzweifelt gesucht / USA-China: Striving for friends // News: Warnung vor Abhängigkeit von Rohstoffen aus China / Die Züge rollen – trotz Krieg // Countercurrents: Proteste in Kambodscha gegen Digitale Seidenstraße // Readings: China in the Americas / Internationalisierung des chinesischen Ordnungsmodells?

USA-China: Striving for friends

Applying the principle ‘winner takes all’ to the competition between China and the USA would probably mean, according to widespread view, that the one of them takes over world hegemony, either ‘authoritarian’ or ‘free’. However, the situation is far from that point, and the battle between the two rivals is continuing to rage unabated.

Newsletter July/August 2022

Contents: Blog Posts: Taiwan – Der Druck im Kessel steigt  // News: Is Beijing betting on the wrong horse in Myanmar? / Due to the debt crisis Beijing is becoming a multilateralist / Weitere Rückenstärkung für Taipeh durch USA und Europa / Beijing verliert in Osteuropa an Boden // Reviews: Western ‘Othering’ of China / Global Views on China and US-China relations

Newsletter April 2022

CONTENT: Blog posts: Ukraine-Russia: Those who are not with us … // News: Greenwashing the Junta in Myanmar / Go Game in the Pacific / China Pakistan Economic Corridor again top priority // Countermovements: Myanmar: Mining / Greece: Piräus / Pakistan: coal power plant // Readings: The complex relationship between China and India in light of Russia’s war in Ukraine / The Specter of Global China revisited.

Ukraine-Russia: Those who are not with us ….

For its answer to the war against Ukraine, the Western world is looking for partners all over the world. But after the unexpectedly widespread support in the United Nations for Russia’s condemnation, many countries of the Global South have since taken a rather more neutral attitude, because the escalation of the conflict goes against their own interests. There are signs of a new alliance emerging, which could benefit China in particular.