This report illustrates how states use foreign infrastructure to advance strategic objectives. Some avenues for influence are intuitive, while others require a more detailed understanding of how infrastructure projects are conceived, financed, built, and operated. With an eye toward illuminating current issues, this report draws from examples throughout history and shows how China is updating and exercising tactics used by Western powers during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. With developing Asia alone requiring $26 trillion in additional infrastructure investment by 2030, these issues, and the strategic implications they carry, are likely to intensify in the coming years.
Jonathan E. Hillman is a senior fellow with the Simon Chair in Political Economy and director of the Reconnecting Asia Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.
This report is made possible by general support to CSIS. No direct sponsorship contributed to this report.
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