Speaking Of Asia

Towards a Belt and Road Initiative paved with empathy

Sensitivity is as important for China to win hearts and minds as project finance and funding when it comes to securing the success of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Last week, millions of Pakistanis had cause to wonder whether China's famous OBOR (One Belt, One Road) programme stood for "one belting and one roundhouse" after videos went viral of Chinese workers at a construction site thrashing their Pakistani security detail and stomping on the bonnets of police jeeps.

Not quite sure whether this was fake news or unfriendly propaganda targeting Islamabad's close ties with China, I turned to the respected newspaper, Dawn, for clarity.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 13, 2018, with the headline 'Towards a BRI paved with empathy'. Print Edition | Subscribe