March 26, 2018


RECONNECTING ASIA is a CSIS project mapping new linkages—roads, railways, and other infrastructure—that are reshaping economic and geopolitical realities.

The Return of Marco Polo's World

An Event with Robert D. Kaplan

On March 9, Matthew P. Goodman interviewed Robert D. Kaplan about his new book. The Return of Marco Polo's World: War, Strategy, and American Interests in the Twenty-first Centuryargues that as Europe disappears, Asia coheres. The supercontinent is becoming one fluid unit of trade and conflict, as the Westphalian system of states weakens and older, imperial legacies – Russian, Chinese, Iranian, Turkish – become paramount. Their conversation explores how Eurasia's coherence impacts the U.S. ability to influence the power balance in Eurasia.

Watch the full event here.

The Spanish Flu a Century Later

2018 Is Not That Different from 1918


100 years ago, the Spanish Influenza tore unforeseen through armies, public health defenses, and geographic barriers. Today we live in a state of superior preparedness, but modernization and globalization have also driven up health security risks. Disease can travel faster in a well-connected world, so it is essential to ensure that health infrastructure investment keeps pace with new connectivity infrastructure. Read the full article here.

By J. Stephen Morrison

The Rise of China-Europe Railways

A Reconnecting Asia Report

Just 10 years ago, regular direct freight services from China to Europe did not exist. Today, they connect roughly 35 Chinese cities with 34 European cities. But despite their rapid advances, these lines must compete with maritime routes that have dominated commerce between Asia and Europe since the late fifteenth century. It remains to be seen how much trade they can capture. Read the full report here.

By Jonathan E. Hillman

Traveling China's Economic Belt

From Yiwu to London

Starting in June, a group of young scholars will travel 10,000 miles across China’s Economic Belt from London to Yiwu, China. Their 60-day journey will investigate the people, projects, countries, and landscapes involved in China's Belt and Road Initiative.

Read about their journey here and follow along @ReconAsia


Quotes and Quotas:

Phrases and facts behind Asia's Infrastructure Push

11,450: Kilometers of new Belt and Road shipping routes launched between February 20th and March 12th, 2018 according to RWR's Belt and Road Monitor

RECONNECTING ASIA maps new linkages - roads, railways, and other infrastructure - that are reshaping economic and geopolitical realities across the continent. Through data curation and objective analysis, the project aims to fill Asia's infrastructure-information gap, squaring lofty ambitions with facts on the ground.

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