The Silk Road was for millennia a trade bridge between East and West. Now China, as it pushes to be a global power again, is investing in a network of road and sea routes between the Pacific Ocean and the heart of Europe as a Silk Road fit for the 21st century. The obstacles, the costs and the potential benefits are all immense — while the politics are complex and fraught.
A significant focus of Beijing’s plans for new land and maritime economic routes across Asia is boosting its under-developed western regions.
Nods to the ancient trade route evoke an earlier period of China-led globalization.
A vicious circle in US-China relations could be curtailed by leadership on both sides.
Japan and South Korea have differing and complex perspectives on Beijing’s initiative.
Russia’s strained relations with the West highlight those with China.
Regional tensions and India’s wariness over China’s intentions make the initiative a hard sell in New Delhi.
Hampered by lackluster economic growth, European countries are jockeying to reap Chinese investment rewards.
China’s plans and territorial disputes foreshadow a struggle with the US for pre-eminence in Asia.
Its policy-makers face hard choices if China usurps the US role in Asia.
Can China’s planned sea routes fit in with the realities of the modern shipping system?
There is no single compelling factor to justify the bombings as inevitable. Rather, a series of decisions and events cumulatively drove the bomb forward.
Japan instigated war, and long refused to accept defeat when it became inevitable. The Allies were thus justified in compelling Japan to bear the costs.
50 years of high economic growth in Asia has obscured underdevelopment in the political arena, and trouble is brewing.
A fresh opportunity for engagement emerges, but in the end only North Korea can decide if it wants improved relations with South Korea.
With Shinzo Abe downplaying the issue in his World War II anniversary speech, it continues to roil Seoul-Tokyo relations.
The new government may signal an advance in Sri Lanka’s development and change its strategic relationship with the US and China.
Democracy has to deliver more to win over the hearts and minds of Asian people.
Emerging Asian democracies must improve the quality of governance or their legitimacy will be called into question.
Perceptions have changed sharply as to how China’s rise will influence US thinking.
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