China Goes to the Belt
China’s Belt and Road initiative, launched in 2013, is the biggest and most ambitious infrastructure project ever undertaken. But while China touts its benefits, especially for developing countries, others see traps, downsides, and a worrying drive for hegemony.
- Stephen Roach believes that the Next China is becoming a Global China, upping the ante on its connection to an increasingly integrated world – and creating a new set of risks and opportunities.
- Brahma Chellaney, however, thinks that China is using sovereign debt to bend other states to its will, and that states in China's debt risk losing both natural assets and their very sovereignty.
- But Liu Jiahua says the aim of the Belt and Road Initiative is to encourage the transfer of productive capacity to other countries, in order to strengthen the “global industrial chain” in mutually beneficial ways.
- And Shang-Jin Wei argues that even nonparticipating countries will benefit from China's massive infrastructure-investment program.
- Nevertheless, Joseph Nye argues that the BRI is unlikely to be as much of a geopolitical game changer as some analysts believe.