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FP's Guide to China's Belt and Road

Added 04-25-19 07:34:02am EST - “The best pieces to read as leaders meet in Beijing.” - Foreignpolicy.com


Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Foreignpolicy.com: “FP’s Guide to China's Belt and Road”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

FP Guide: FP’s Guide to China’s Belt and Road FP’s Guide to China’s Belt and Roa...

As world leaders prepare to meet in Beijing on April 25-27 for a summit on China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a once confident China seems on the back foot. President Xi Jinping has made the Belt and Road his signature foreign-policy plan, leading local Chinese leaders to jump on every possible chance to boost it and demonstrate their loyalty to the central leadership. It has even been embedded in the often-changing Chinese Constitution.

Yet as Belt and Road projects have increasingly swallowed up China’s foreign-policy plans, criticisms over the sustainability and fairness of Chinese loans have only multiplied. Skeptics, meanwhile, point out that for all the talk of grand schemes, the last few years haven’t seen any significant increases or changing trends in China’s actual spending or lending abroad.

To help make sense of what some see as a plot, some as an opportunity, and some as a white elephant, we’ve gathered together our best pieces on Belt and Road.

The initiative originally started as a relatively limited project designed to create Eurasian connectivity through road and rail infrastructure modeled on the Chongqing-Duisburg rail route. But that was a faulty plan. The Chongqing-Duisburg rail route was never a state project but “an existing route reused and redeveloped by Hewlett-Packard”—and every attempt to imitate it has failed, Andreea Brinza, a prominent researcher into Belt and Road, points out. “Today, most of the BRI’s rail routes function only thanks to Chinese government subsidies. The average subsidy per trip for a 20-foot container is between $3,500 and $4,000, depending on the local government.”


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