Running out of road

Corruption, mounting debt and political tensions have undermined this grand project:

At its peak, China’s Belt and Road Initiative was seen as the centerpiece of Beijing’s engagement with the world

Now, a decade after its rollout, observers say the ambitious strategy to build infrastructure trade links across Eurasia and beyond is losing steam, with some questioning the ongoing viability of Beijing’s mega-project.

The biggest beneficiary of the belt and brace spending spree has been in the Asian part of Russia ($125 billion) which is causing some concerns in Moscow as they fear China’s expansion in the area. Many of the original inhabitants have been moving out with China filling the gap:

China and Russia have built close financial ties over the past ten years, with Russia becoming the largest recipient of Belt and Road lending.

China wants its lands back:

While Moscow and Beijing tout vague investment agreement in far-flung region, Chinese nationalists bay for return of seized lands

It’s causing concern in Moscow:

Russia’s foreign minister bowed out of China’s high-level Belt and Road meeting. Is Moscow finally signaling its discontent over the initiative?

The war in Ukraine could, in the long run, be beneficial to China


Instead of the loan payments China may get some long-term infrastructure deals such as happened in Sri Lanka. Of course, those are always subject to expropriation at a latter date.