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.

Merry-go-round in South Asia

In the last week of March, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi was on a whirlwind tour in South Asia, where the relations of several countries with Beijing, and thus the geopolitical constellations, seem to be shifting. After talks in Pakistan, where a serious political crisis is darkening the future of a Belt & Road flagship, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor CPEC, and a fly-by in Kabul, which has already been interpreted as a first step towards recognising the Taliban government, he made a visit to Nepal after a sensational detour into India.

Newsletter January 2022

CONTENT: Posts: Power struggles in Kazakhstan: Putting out the fuse / Military coup in Myanmar 1: Triple Catch-22 for Beijing / The „Digital Silk Road“ in Central Asia (Guest post) // News: China’s Foreign Minister as a fire fighter / Military coup in Myanmar 2: Foreign investments // Reviews: ‚Less brown’: Two reports on Green BRI Investment.

Newsletter December 2021

CONTENTS: Posts: ‘Dual Circulation Strategy’: China’s „new development model“ / Numbers mystique at ChinAfrica Forum // News: Europe’ response to Belt&Road: ‘Global Gateway’ / 20th Anniversary of China’s accession to the World Trade Organisation / Debt debate: Highway to Disinformation? / Frigate ‚Bayern’ demonstrates to Beijing where the hammer is hanging // Readings: Changes in Beijing’s economic involvement: Adaptation and Agency.

Newsletter June 2021

CONTENTS: Blog post: ‘Build Back Better World’, the US-copy of BRI / News: European bailout for Montenegro / Call for boycott of Myanmar’s jade industry // Readings: Chinese Foreign Direct Investment in Europe in 2020 / Chinas technological influence in Southeast Asia through the Digital Silk Road / Environmental Authoritarianism: Review of ‘China goes green’ by Yifei Li and Judith Shapiro.

My borrowers, your borrowers

The narrative of Chinese “debt diplomacy” is rather simplistic: Lending by state-owned banks is not transparent, encourages corruption, and serves primarily Chinese corporations, it goes. This would lead inevitably into a debt trap. It appears as if Beijing’s policy is fundamentally different from the practices of international financial institutions, governments of Western industrialized countries or large commercial banks.

China’s Chernobyl?

The Corona crisis may well be “China’s Chernobyl”, suggested a columnist in the journal ‘The Diplomat’. Will China face a similar fate as the Soviet Union did five years after the nuclear disaster in the Ukraine? The Corona crisis is a serious challenge for the Beijing government. It is jeopardising its ambitions to transform the People’s Republic into a full-fledged world power by 2049, the 100th anniversary of its founding.