Digital China – The (Middle) Kingdom of Cyberspace?

The Chinese presence in cyberspace is gathering speed, scope and mass. This was especially obvious during the “One Belt, One Road” Forum for International Cooperation that took place in Beijing on 14 15 May 2017. There, the Chinese government and companies and their counterparts from more than 69 Asian, African, American and European countries signed… Read More

The UAE and the Chinese New Silk Road

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and China are negotiating, at the highest level, the integration of the UAE into the Chinese New Silk Road (NSR) initiative, also called the “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) initiative (Sarah Townsend, “UAE and China “working to restore silk road trading route””, Arabian Business.com, 13 December 2015). This move corresponds to the convergence of the Chinese and Emirati grand strategies. This confluence is based on an already thriving relationship between China and the UAE, which represents one-fifth of the Sino-Arab trade for the Gulf countries, with China being the UAE’s second import partner after India (Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat, “The UAE and China’s thriving partnership”, Monthly Monitor Report, A Gulf States Analytics Report, June 2015). Beyond these more “classical”… Read More

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Militarizing the Maritime New Silk Road (2) – In the Arabian Sea

This article looks at the way the current militarization of maritime segments of the Chinese New Silk Road is implemented in the Arabian Sea, and related consequences on geopolitics, including for businesses. It is the second part of a series, the first one focusing on militarization in the South China Sea (Jean-Michel Valantin, “Militarizing the… Read More

The Chinese New Silk Road in East Africa

The Popular Republic of China (PRC) is building a naval base in Djibouti, which should be completed during 2017, alongside the already existing French and American military naval bases (“China’s base in Djibouti means more than an attribute of “global power”, Sputnik, 7/12/2016). This move is a crucial global development for China, for East Africa as… Read More