The United States and China have developed competing visions for reviving ancient trade routes connecting Asia and Europe. The U.S. diplomatic strategy focuses on Afghanistan, while China hopes to economically integrate Central and South Asia. India and Russia also have regional ambitions.
Nicaragua’s proposed Grand Canal would be one of the world’s largest engineering projects. Its proponents say it could transform the country’s economy, while critics say it could be an environmental catastrophe.
The China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seeks to address a critical infrastructure gap in the region, but it is also a challenge to the existing global economic order, says CFR’s Robert Kahn.