Infrastructure

This photo taken on 13 July 2022, shows a housing complex under construction in Dongguan, in China's southern Guangdong province. (Jade Gao/AFP)

China’s overreliance on land finance could lead to its downfall

Retired economist Zeng Yongchang shares his views on China’s land finance policies — while quick and efficient, land finance is unsustainable, as evidenced by the widening inequality, intensifying social conflicts and dire economic situation.
Workers at a construction site for the World Expo Cultural Park in Shanghai, China, on 27 September 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

China's slowing economy will not deter BRI outreach

Despite challenges arising from the slowing Chinese economy, China is likely to continue pushing forward on the BRI, it being a key plank of President Xi Jinping’s foreign policy. Along the way, however, it will have to make certain adjustments for a smooth transition into BRI 2.0.
An Electric Multiple Unit high-speed train for a rail link project, which is part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, arrives at Tanjung Priok port during load in Jakarta, Indonesia, 2 September 2022. (Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana/Reuters)

[Future of China] China's ten-year-old BRI needs a revamp

The BRI’s implementation will be slowing down as a result of multiple factors ranging from the global Covid-19 pandemic, the shift in the global geostrategic environment and the Chinese economic slowdown. As it changes its model to suit change, it could focus more on sustainable financing for BRI countries and lower the long-term financial impacts of loans for infrastructure projects. It could also pursue “third-party market cooperation” as a flexible approach in its pursuit of cooperation with other countries under the BRI umbrella. This is the second in a five-part series of articles on the future of China.
A welder works on an overpass on the Irving Interchange infrastructure project at the site of the former Dallas Cowboys Stadium on 10 August 2022 in Irving, Texas, US. (John Moore/Getty Images/AFP)

G7’s global infrastructure and investment drive: Not so attractive for Southeast Asia

The Group of Seven’s new infrastructure and investment drive seeks to provide what Southeast Asia needs, such as financing for hard infrastructure. However, ISEAS academic Chanrith Ngin believes that the need for multiple stakeholders and financing issues might not garner much buy-in from the region, and some countries may opt out to avoid being caught in the geopolitical competition between China and the US.
The only road leading to Semoi village, in the regency of Penajam Paser Utara, in East Kalimantan Province, Indonesia. (SPH Media)

Can Chinese capital and technologies jumpstart economic development in Borneo?

Malaysian academics Goh Chun Sheng and Guanie Lim observe China’s strong presence in the upstream and downstream sectors of developing Nusantara, the envisaged new capital of Indonesia in East Kalimantan on the island of Borneo, allowing for potential cooperation between China, Indonesia and Malaysia. Could this be the start of greater China-led cross-border collaborations in the region?
Residential buildings under construction in Shanghai, China, on 27 July 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

China’s economic crisis is a ticking time bomb

Taiwanese commentator Chen Kuohsiang believes that China’s economy is under threat, with the unravelling of intertwining issues in the financial industry, property sector and government finances that cannot be easily resolved. How will China boost its investment-led economy, push down unemployment rates, and regain consumer and investor confidence?
People ride bicycles along a street at a Central Business District in Beijing on 8 July 2022. (Wang Zhao/AFP)

From Singapore to China, data centre investments thriving amid challenges

Data centres have become a thriving sector in the Asia Pacific, with global companies setting up infrastructure in hotspots such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Sydney. Compared with traditional real estate assets, data centres promise higher returns on investment. However, developers will need to contend with rising energy costs and stricter regulations for greener developments.
Workers watch as a crane lifts a structure at a construction site in Shanghai, China, 14 January 2022. (Reuters/Aly Song)

China's all-out effort to fund infrastructure and save the economy

Amid the economic slump due to the unpredictable Covid-19 situation, China is increasing its investments in infrastructure in efforts to jumpstart domestic demand and boost economic recovery. While profitable projects are hard to find, the renewables, technology and water management sectors are set to benefit from the government's push. However, the risk of inflation and rising cost of raw materials could limit the boost to economic growth.
Almost all signboards in the Cambodian city of Sihanoukville are in Chinese. (Kwong Kai Chung/SPH Media)

The revival of Sihanoukville, Cambodia’s ‘Gold Rush’ city

In this fourth instalment of a seven-part Lianhe Zaobao-Business Times series on China and ASEAN, we look at the role of Chinese investors in the rise, fall and recovery of Cambodia’s Sihanoukville province.