© 2018 by Robert Person.  The views expressed on this website are my own and do not represent the official policy of the U.S. Army, Department of Defense, or U.S. Government.

Mar 26

Why Democracies Are Turning Against One Belt and One Road

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China's massive Belt Road Initiative is one of the largest developmental and economic projects taken on in human history. After pouring almost $700 billion into the project throughout almost sixty countries, the Chinese government is trying to buy influence and growth within developing economies. China does not hold its partners to the same standards of clean government as the West. Because of this, several corrupt regimes are driving their countries into debt while strengthening their winning coalitions by giving them the infrastructure contracts.

 

The problem with this project within developing countries is that it is having the opposite of the desired effect both for the regime and China. In terms of the developing country's regime, the logic is that foreign money and building infrastructure that connects them to this super international market. The logic of China is that this gains them influence over these developing countries; however, in actuality these countries are being driven into debt, authoritarian regimes being propped up, and corruption running rampant. This is causing many local populaces, such as that in Malaysia, who elected a Prime Minister who campaigned on resisting Chinese influence. While in theory the BRI could be great for economic development, the reality is that none of the goals are being achieved.

 

Foreign Affairs

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/china/2018-10-24/why-democracies-are-turning-against-belt-and-road

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