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China’s Belt and Road could have been great but now threatens to be disastrous

Is it too late to salvage something good from Beijing’s monumental development project?

By Isabel Hilton  

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Hamilton/Pool/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping first announced the Belt and Road project in 2013; in May 2017, he invited the world to Beijing for the first BRI summit; in October of that year, the BRI was enshrined in the Chinese Communist Party’s constitution, and in a few days, Xi will host the second BRI conference. The trillion dollar development project envisages new networks of transport and energy corridors, digital infrastructure, ports and industrial parks from which all roads will lead to China. The number of countries involved,…

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