THERE is widespread agreement about China’s increasing power, a country perceived to be more on the rise than any other according to the Pew Research Centre. The Chinese government’s multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure and trade strategy, the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’, can only exacerbate that perception.
This colossal project aims to link 65 nations and more than four billion people with the clear intention of transforming China’s standing as a political and financial force. Maritime, energy, road and rail projects are expected to cost more than $2trillion and to touch 62 per cent of the world’s population. It is not limited to the establishment of routes for trading goods and services: the aims of the BRI are much grander. They are ‘to strengthen co-operation in policy co-ordination, infrastructure construction, trade facilitation and financial integration‘.
Chinese technical expertise and managerial competence as well as its sheer economic power is assumed. But should it be? An article distributed by Share America suggests not. It warns that Chinese projects may not be well constructed, leave the host countries deeply in debt, and rather than benefiting the hosts are strategic assets for Beijing.
You can read it here.