Ever since it was launched, there’s been a raging debate about the sustainability of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Conventionally, these conversations take shape depending on where you stand. In other words, depending on one’s ideological and geopolitical prism, BRI is either a grand strategic plan that is reshaping the global political and economic order or an example of Xi Jinping’s hubris, which is leading to overreach, and will eventually collapse under the weight of its own contradictions. A new Financial Times report this week, highlighting a sharp decline in Chinese overseas lending, sparked another such debate.
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