How China Is Looking Beyond Borders
It aims to develop a new Silk Road economic belt and 21st century maritime Silk Road by promoting economic cooperation across Asia, Africa and Europe. The initiative combines new and older projects and includes improved soft and hard infrastructure, and even cultural ties.
China is providing massive financing to participating countries, which currently officially number 66, for the development of infrastructure. Many of the recipients are developing countries which see China’s plan as an opportunity to boost their local economies. There is no firm evidence to date of how successful these projects have been in fulfilling the expectations of participating belt and road countries, but there are concerns that some projects lack regulation and coordination with existing markets. Critics of the belt and road scheme believe it represents a risk for participating countries that they will be left with unprofitable, unnecessary infrastructure. One of the biggest global concerns is that developing countries will be left with a debt burden to China which they will be unable to meet.
Photo courtesy of faungg’s photos.