Central Asians Cautiously Chart Course Independent of China

by James M. Dorsey China’s brutal crackdown in its north-western province of Xinjiang and growing questions about the dark side of some of its Belt and Road investments is fueling anti-Chinese sentiment, prompting some countries to explore ways to chart… Continue Reading  

Pakistan’s Financial Crisis Puts China’s Belt and Road On The Spot

by James M. Dorsey Increased Pakistani dependence on China to help it avert resorting to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to avoid a financial and economic crisis spotlights fears that the terms of Chinese investment in massive Belt and Road-related… Continue Reading  

Arabs Leverage Lucrative Nuclear Contracts

by James M. Dorsey Controversy in South Korea over a secret military clause in a nine-year old agreement to build the United Arab Emirates’ first nuclear reactor raises a Pandora’s Box of questions about political and military demands that Arab nations may… Continue Reading  

Iran’s Protests: All About the Economy?

by Gareth Smyth In 2007, when the Iranian government introduced gasoline rationing, increasing the price to 11 cents a liter, some angry motorists torched gasoline stations. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that it showed “economic sanctions are working increasingly… Continue Reading  

Rentierism and Rivalry Between Riyadh and Tehran

by Esfandyar Batmanghelidj In response to the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the United States has long pursued a strategy of counterbalancing, extending its security umbrella to cover the kingdom and the GCC states. But as promises of security… Continue Reading