China strengthens its grip on south Asia
Pakistan has long been as enamoured of the BRI as India is suspicious. But BRI-related projects are now springing up in the likes of Bangladesh and Nepal, suggesting that whatever New Delhi’s reservations, the Beijing-led scheme is here to stay
If the Belt and Road Initiative has a blind spot, it is surely to be found in south Asia. The region is home to one country that can’t get enough of the project (Pakistan), and another (India) that wants nothing to do with it.
Does this matter? Well, yes and no. On the plus side, Pakistan, which is chronically short of friends and capital, shows no sign of falling out of love with a project that continues to shower it with financial largesse. The list of Chinese-funded and Chinese-built infrastructure projects is long and impressive.