Raffaello Pantucci

Raffaello Pantucci

Raffaello Pantucci is a senior associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London and a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore. His work focuses on terrorism, counter-terrorism and China's Eurasian relations. He has a forthcoming book on China's relations with Central Asia and most of his work can be found at raffaellopantucci.com. Prior to Covid-19, he spent a good portion of his time traversing the Eurasian continent seeking understanding about the new continental dynamics.

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Latest from Raffaello Pantucci

Opinion | Time for China to stop hedging its bets in Afghanistan

The flak Beijing has drawn for its Taliban engagement is not just unfair but also misses the point. If China’s Afghan strategy is to be faulted, it’s for doing too little.

The flak Beijing has drawn for its Taliban engagement is not just unfair but also misses the point. If China’s Afghan strategy is to be faulted, it’s for doing too little.

Time for China to stop hedging its bets in Afghanistan
17 Aug 2021 - 4:10AM
Opinion | Why China cannot afford to take a passive role in post-US Afghanistan

There appears to be little evidence supporting Taliban assurances that trouble will not spill over onto Chinese soil. China needs to take a more proactive role in supporting the government in Kabul and visibly deploy more resources.

There appears to be little evidence supporting Taliban assurances that trouble will not spill over onto Chinese soil. China needs to take a more proactive role in supporting the government in Kabul and visibly deploy more resources.

Why China cannot afford to take a passive role in post-US Afghanistan
16 Aug 2021 - 10:40PM
Opinion | How the West can best respond to China’s belt and road

Competing with China dollar for dollar is pointless as Chinese banks and state-owned firms are driven by different concerns. Building up governance capacity in developing countries will help them push back when Chinese firms step over the line.

Competing with China dollar for dollar is pointless as Chinese banks and state-owned firms are driven by different concerns. Building up governance capacity in developing countries will help them push back when Chinese firms step over the line.

How the West can best respond to China’s belt and road
25 May 2021 - 4:34AM
Opinion | How US withdrawal from Afghanistan offers promise and peril for China

The balance in Afghanistan seems weighted more towards opportunity than challenge for China. Beijing might believe it knows how to avoid pitfalls, but history is littered with powers that thought they could control the Eurasian region.

The balance in Afghanistan seems weighted more towards opportunity than challenge for China. Beijing might believe it knows how to avoid pitfalls, but history is littered with powers that thought they could control the Eurasian region.

How US withdrawal from Afghanistan offers promise and peril for China
26 Apr 2021 - 1:30AM
Opinion | How China’s Middle East charm offensive succeeded despite affecting little change

What Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to the region may lack in material achievements, it makes up for in good optics. China is a major player in the region. In highlighting this, Wang has undermined Western-driven condemnation and achieved China’s foreign policy goals.

What Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to the region may lack in material achievements, it makes up for in good optics. China is a major player in the region. In highlighting this, Wang has undermined Western-driven condemnation and achieved China’s foreign policy goals.

How China’s Middle East charm offensive succeeded despite affecting little change
2 Apr 2021 - 5:23AM
Opinion | Belt and Road Initiative: China’s rosy picture is at odds with realities on the ground during Covid-19

Chinese officials have praised the initiative and its goal of improving cross-border flows of people and goods. The reality has been different, though, with China’s neighbours and partners frustrated by border closures and lengthy delays.

Chinese officials have praised the initiative and its goal of improving cross-border flows of people and goods. The reality has been different, though, with China’s neighbours and partners frustrated by border closures and lengthy delays.

Belt and Road Initiative: China’s rosy picture is at odds with realities on the ground during Covid-19
9 Mar 2021 - 5:15AM
Opinion | As the face of China’s foreign policy, the belt and road will survive debt and coronavirus

The belt and road was not meant to be a single large infrastructure project. Rather, it provides the great machine of China’s external-facing apparatus with a new driving vision.

The belt and road was not meant to be a single large infrastructure project. Rather, it provides the great machine of China’s external-facing apparatus with a new driving vision.

As the face of China’s foreign policy, the belt and road will survive debt and coronavirus
18 Dec 2020 - 4:04AM
Opinion | Why China playing bystander to the trouble in Eurasia is not ideal

Beijing’s reluctance to get involved in the Eurasian unrest is in line with its attitude towards conflicts that do not impinge on its own security. But, given China’s growing influence, its disinterested posture muddies the waters for others trying to resolve unrest.

Beijing’s reluctance to get involved in the Eurasian unrest is in line with its attitude towards conflicts that do not impinge on its own security. But, given China’s growing influence, its disinterested posture muddies the waters for others trying to resolve unrest.

Why China playing bystander to the trouble in Eurasia is not ideal
22 Oct 2020 - 7:59AM
Opinion | Crumbling China-India relations suggests escalation will continue

China has never taken India seriously, while New Delhi has continually hedged and never made a clear choice about what it wants from its relationship with Beijing. The possibility of miscalculation is growing and a dangerous new normal is setting in.

China has never taken India seriously, while New Delhi has continually hedged and never made a clear choice about what it wants from its relationship with Beijing. The possibility of miscalculation is growing and a dangerous new normal is setting in.

Crumbling China-India relations suggests escalation will continue
25 Sep 2020 - 11:09PM
Opinion | Why China is becoming the bogeyman in its border lands

Chinese people, embassies and projects are increasingly the target of separatist and terrorist violence as protests against Uygur treatment grow. As a big player, China’s mere presence and support for the authorities in the region makes it a target for local anger.

Chinese people, embassies and projects are increasingly the target of separatist and terrorist violence as protests against Uygur treatment grow. As a big player, China’s mere presence and support for the authorities in the region makes it a target for local anger.

Why China is becoming the bogeyman in its border lands
2 Sep 2020 - 3:37AM
Opinion | There is no new cold war, the West is just losing influence in Eurasia

Is there a new axis between China, Russia and Iran against the West? Not quite. Beneath the surface of the anti-US alliance, there are undercurrents of hostility and scepticism. Across Eurasia, there is also a reluctance to take sides.

Is there a new axis between China, Russia and Iran against the West? Not quite. Beneath the surface of the anti-US alliance, there are undercurrents of hostility and scepticism. Across Eurasia, there is also a reluctance to take sides.

There is no new cold war, the West is just losing influence in Eurasia
31 Jul 2020 - 5:46AM
Opinion | Beijing faces a perfect storm as the world turns against its narrative amid rising nationalism, leaving it no room for compromise

In the face of growing global criticism, Beijing may be painting itself into a corner with its narratives, which fuel an increasingly angry nativism in China, forcing it to take the dangerous path of doubling down on confrontations.

In the face of growing global criticism, Beijing may be painting itself into a corner with its narratives, which fuel an increasingly angry nativism in China, forcing it to take the dangerous path of doubling down on confrontations.

Beijing faces a perfect storm as the world turns against its narrative amid rising nationalism, leaving it no room for compromise
16 May 2020 - 11:31AM
Opinion | How China’s coronavirus medical diplomacy is failing to win over the world

Forget Pax Sinica, China’s medical outreach is failing. Even though Russia and Iran, its closest allies, may be on the same page, underlying tensions remain. There is a global leadership gap but Beijing is not filling it.

Forget Pax Sinica, China’s medical outreach is failing. Even though Russia and Iran, its closest allies, may be on the same page, underlying tensions remain. There is a global leadership gap but Beijing is not filling it.

How China’s coronavirus medical diplomacy is failing to win over the world
4 Apr 2020 - 3:53AM
Opinion | Is China getting real with its grandiose visions for the belt and road?

Beijing is toning down its rhetoric for the grand plan and rethinking its massive international infrastructure programme, Raffaello Pantucci writes.

Beijing is toning down its rhetoric for the grand plan and rethinking its massive international infrastructure programme, Raffaello Pantucci writes.

Is China getting real with its grandiose visions for the belt and road?
14 Feb 2020 - 6:25PM
Opinion | Why Iran has got China wrong: Beijing will follow its own playbook in countering the US-led West

While regional players like Iran seek to bring China into the conversation, Beijing continues to rely on the rhetoric of non-interference. Its single-minded focus on its own interests will see China become stronger.

While regional players like Iran seek to bring China into the conversation, Beijing continues to rely on the rhetoric of non-interference. Its single-minded focus on its own interests will see China become stronger.

Why Iran has got China wrong: Beijing will follow its own playbook in countering the US-led West
26 Sep 2019 - 11:29AM
Opinion | Time for South Asia to more closely monitor regional terrorism with global reach

Raffaello Pantucci writes that growing regional anger must be kept from spiralling out of control and creating broader havoc.

Raffaello Pantucci writes that growing regional anger must be kept from spiralling out of control and creating broader havoc.

Time for South Asia to more closely monitor regional terrorism with global reach
22 May 2019 - 2:26AM
Opinion | Does Beijing grasp the portent of embracing Afghanistan and the Taliban?

Raffaello Pantucci says it is not clear that Beijing fully appreciates the role it is taking on by trying to broker peace in strife-torn Afghanistan and getting a Taliban-inclusive political structure in place.

Raffaello Pantucci says it is not clear that Beijing fully appreciates the role it is taking on by trying to broker peace in strife-torn Afghanistan and getting a Taliban-inclusive political structure in place.

Does Beijing grasp the portent of embracing Afghanistan and the Taliban?
10 Feb 2019 - 10:19AM
Unbuckling China’s belt and road plan will not be easy for Western powers
7 Oct 2018 - 7:32PM
The lesson of the Pakistan suicide attack: China will have to pay a high price for its infrastructure plan
26 Aug 2018 - 9:54PM
Why developing countries can’t resist joining China’s massive infrastructure plan
7 Jul 2018 - 10:05PM
From China to Central Asia, a regional security bloc’s long, slow march towards an alternative world order
20 Jun 2018 - 2:18PM
How Beijing, Delhi and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor could reshape global foreign policy in Asia
11 Jun 2018 - 11:13PM
Time China met its promises and took leading role in Afghanistan
2 Jan 2018 - 8:48PM
Opinion: China can cope with any bumps along the way on ‘Belt and Road’
20 Jul 2018 - 2:55PM
China should beware of ‘returning radicals’ whether they come home or not
15 Oct 2017 - 10:01PM
China must get along with regional powers to make its New Silk Road plan work
20 Jul 2018 - 2:55PM
‘Why China must do more to fight international terrorism’
10 Jul 2017 - 2:49AM
Is China prepared for a new mantle in Central Asia amid the roll-out of its belt and road?
20 Jul 2018 - 2:55PM
Why Eurasia will suffer if Donald Trump makes an enemy of China
7 Feb 2017 - 7:43PM
China’s new silk road is designed to cut Russia out of Eurasian trade
11 Dec 2019 - 12:11AM