Belt and Road Weekly Investor Intelligence, #20

Posted by Reading Time: 3 minutes

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Welcome to this week’s issue of China Briefing’s Belt & Road Initiative Weekly Investor Intelligence round up.

In this week’s edition, we examine the new Polar Silk Route that China is now eying as part of its Belt & Road Maritime route to Europe. Further afield yet longer term, we look at the joint China-Russian announcement of plans to have a permanent lunar base, while closer to home we see that China is starting to live up to promises as concerns combating environmental damage. That is in contrast to how American investors are behaving in Indonesia where we feature troubling mining news. Sticking with Indonesia, we see how a proposed free trade agreement with Russia fits into the Eurasian trade sphere.

Beijing Prioritizes ‘Polar Silk Road’ at Two Sessions Meeting

A new proposed Trans-Polar Route is faster than the Northern Sea Passage and has implications for China-Europe trade and shipping vessel designs.

China and Russia’s Joint Venture Belt & Road to the Moon

Russia and China have signed a memorandum agreeing to create an international lunar research station, as Moscow and Beijing look to amalgamate their expertise to further advance space exploration.

China Pulls Out of Polluting Belt & Road Initiative Projects

The turn away from financing polluting projects, even overseas, comes as Bangladesh and China are renegotiating US$3.6 billion in infrastructure loans agreed in 2016 that Dhaka now wants to repurpose. It is a welcome sign of Beijing’s new hesitation in funding polluting coal projects as part of the Belt & Road Initiative.

Eurasian Economic Union Discussing Free Trade Agreements with Indonesia and Mongolia

Indonesia would be a major prize as an EAEU free trade partner. It is mineral-rich and has a population of about 270 million with a (PPP) GDP of US$3.5 trillion.

Indonesia’s Biak Island Not a Good Example of the US Belt & Road Alternative

The US has been a fierce critic of the BRI, but de-forestation, pollution, environmental damage, and military suppression are not a good advert for US investments in Indonesia either.

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