How China can ensure smooth progress for its new Silk Road

It is in Beijing's interests to exercise greater care over how its money is spent on projects under the Belt and Road Initiative

The new Silk Road is back on track. After a torrid year in 2018, last week's Belt and Road Forum in Beijing underlined China's determination to push forward with its vast but divisive global infrastructure scheme.

President Xi Jinping shrugged off accusations that his signature Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) left partner nations heavily in Beijing's debt, both financially and politically. Instead, having unveiled a mooted US$64 billion (S$90 billion) worth of deals, he seemed in ambitious spirits. "All interested countries are welcome to join us," he told the dozens of world leaders gathered at the forum, suggesting that the BRI's benefits would be "shared by the world".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 02, 2019, with the headline 'How China can ensure smooth progress for its new Silk Road'. Subscribe