China's Belt and Road Initiative

January 25, 2019 • Volume 29, Issue 4
Does it pose a threat to the West?
By Jonathan Broder

Introduction

Dozens of countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and elsewhere are embracing China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a $1 trillion program aimed at building a vast system of transportation, energy and telecommunications networks linking China to resources and markets worldwide. So far, 117 nations have received more than $400 billion in loans and investments from Beijing, whose state-owned construction companies are building roads, bridges, power plants and other projects. Chinese President Xi Jinping says the program seeks to help China and other countries strengthen their economies. But the massive infrastructure project — the largest in history — has sparked concerns that China is trapping poor nations in debt with the goal of forcing them to surrender strategic assets and that Xi's ultimate objective is to create a new world order in which China's norms and priorities prevail. To counter the BRI, the United States is readying a $60 billion development program that it argues will help recipient nations grow without becoming burdened with debts they cannot repay.

A Chinese laborer works at a mall under construction (Getty Images/Paula Bronstein)
A Chinese laborer works at a mall under construction at Port City in Sri Lanka last November. China is investing heavily in the small Asian nation as part of its $1 trillion Belt and Road infrastructure program. (Getty Images/Paula Bronstein)
ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
China
Jan. 25, 2019  China's Belt and Road Initiative
Jan. 20, 2017  China and the South China Sea
Apr. 04, 2014  China Today
May 07, 2010  U.S.-China Relations Updated
Nov. 11, 2005  Emerging China
Aug. 04, 2000  China Today
Jun. 13, 1997  China After Deng
May 24, 1996  Taiwan, China and the U.S.
Apr. 15, 1994  U.S. - China Trade
Apr. 13, 1984  China: Quest for Stability and Development
Dec. 05, 1980  Trade with China
Sep. 08, 1978  China's Opening Door
Feb. 08, 1974  China After Mao
May 26, 1972  Future of Taiwan
Jun. 16, 1971  Reconciliation with China
Aug. 07, 1968  China Under Mao
Sep. 13, 1967  Burma and Red China
Mar. 15, 1967  Hong Kong and Macao: Windows into China
Apr. 27, 1966  China and the West
Nov. 25, 1964  Relations With Red China
Oct. 05, 1960  Russia and Red China
Mar. 18, 1959  Red China's Communes
Oct. 22, 1958  Overseas Chinese
Jul. 24, 1957  China Policy
Apr. 24, 1957  Passport Policy
Feb. 16, 1955  Problem of Formosa
Sep. 15, 1954  Red China and the United Nations
Apr. 28, 1953  Status of Red China
Apr. 03, 1953  War in Indo-China
Mar. 13, 1952  Chinese-Soviet Relations
Jun. 20, 1951  Blockades and Embargoes
Aug. 29, 1950  Formosa Policy
Mar. 09, 1950  Aid to Indo-China
Nov. 24, 1948  China's Civil War
Aug. 06, 1945  Government of China
Feb. 17, 1945  Development of China
Jun. 07, 1943  Oriental Exclusion
Oct. 26, 1936  Chino-Japanese Relations
Jan. 02, 1928  The Position and Problems of Chinese Nationalism
Apr. 15, 1927  Foreign Intervention in China
Feb. 04, 1927  China and the Great Powers
Dec. 18, 1925  Extraterritoriality in China
Sep. 24, 1924  Military and Civil Aspects of the War in China
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Air Transportation
Economic Development
General International Relations
Imperialism, Colonization, and Independence Movements
International Economic Development
International Law and Agreements
Manufacturing and Industrial Production
Military Bases
Powers and History of the Presidency
Railroads
Regional Political Affairs: Africa
Regional Political Affairs: East Asia and the Pacific
Regional Political Affairs: Latin America and the Caribbean