The Montenegrin-Chinese Belt Road Initiative (BRI) loan agreement of 2014 was expected to foster economic growth in Montenegro through the creation of a highway from Bar, Montenegro to Belgrade, Serbia. However, the high costs associated with this project ballooned Montenegro's debt to more than 100% of its GDP in late 2020.
The Dara Sakor Airport in Koh Kong, Cambodia is a project under China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The airport contains a 3,300-meter-long runway near the Cambodian coast. Since 2019, Pentagon planners and others in the strategic commentary space have expressed concerns that Dara Sakor could serve as a dual-use Chinese military airfield (see notes). As of May 2023, GEOINT shows no military infrastructure is present. Open evidence suggests Dara Sakor may be another overly grand BRI project.
Ecuador's desire to become a global exporter of copper coincides with increased Chinese demand for and investment in copper mining. Both copper mines in Ecuador are owned by the same Chinese company. The inauguration of mine construction and activity has led to negative environmental damage and forced relocations of indigenous communities at both mines.
Expansion of copper mining is driving economic growth in Peru, which coincides with increased Chinese demand and investment in copper mining. Chinese involvement in Peru's mining sector varies by project and is often obfuscated through intermediary company involvement in mine acquisition or construction.
Though Chinese "Belt-and-Road Initiative" (BRI) investments and related economic activities abroad have been a touchpoint for international studies, this report poses a hypothetical "what if" scenario and seeks to address one facet of the potential implications if Chinese facilities abroad are used for dual-use military/civilian purposes.
In contrast to our findings of BRI hydroelectric power projects in Bolivia, in Ecuador, we observe fewer problematic environmental impacts in the majority of Chinese projects, with several accompanied by substantial local community development initiatives.
In line with the push for environmentally friendly Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) infrastructure projects and Bolivia's former President Evo Morales' "2025 Patriotic Agenda" to transform Bolivia into a regional energy hub, China has supported six hydropower energy projects in the country. The success of these projects vary, and are more dependent on domestic factors in Bolivia than the actions of China.
China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is not a monolithic enterprise. Across seven BRI port projects in Central America and the Caribbean, we find evidence that the project partnerships between China and recipient countries vary significantly regarding construction processes and end results.
In contrast to high carbon-emitting Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) energy projects in other countries, China has supported renewable and sustainable projects in Cuba. What sets the "Green BRI" in Cuba apart from the rest of the region?
A new rail extension to Apapa port aims to connect Nigeria’s hinterland to global markets to diversify its economy. However, the rail extension may fail to address severe congestion in Lagos’ port areas and high shipping costs will remain.
Despite anticipated positive impacts to the Nigerian economy, the Lagos-Ibadan railway has failed to generate positive economic spillover. Nigeria will need additional infrastructure investment to meet the promise of positive economic development.