BRI will help the world. China? Not so much

The global economic development initiative that China calls "One Belt, One Road" is considered one of Beijing's major instruments in its geopolitical contest with the United States. But it is unlikely to do much to boost Chinese power as it helps most of the world.

China is investing in fixed assets and infrastructure from South-east Asia to the Balkans and East Africa. That poses a danger to China that host countries will eventually nationalise the assets without giving China comparable value in return. It is a lesson the US learnt when it lost control of the Panama Canal and Saudi Arabian oil assets.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 17, 2019, with the headline 'BRI will help the world. China? Not so much'. Print Edition | Subscribe