Shorter Belt and Road Will Be Even More Dangerous: Andrew Small
China’s globe-spanning infrastructure program is shrinking. The rhetoric at the second Belt and Road Forum, opening in Beijing on Thursday, is almost certain to be less triumphalist — and new plans for roads, pipelines, bridges and rail lines more modest — than at the first. Unfortunately for the US and its allies, though, a downsized program could pose more, not less of a competitive threat to the West.
Until now, most worries about the Belt and Road have focused on its size and its weak standards. The sheer volume of the supposedly multi-trillion-dollar initiative looked impossible to match. Meanwhile, a corrosive combination of debt, corruption and privileged access for Chinese companies threatened to lure or coerce countries away from the US orbit and into China’s.