The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2020 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.
Banking

The Belt and Road backlash

China’s Belt and Road Initiative is trumpeted as a ‘win-win’ for all, but is it everything it’s cracked up to be? Or are countries on its route, wary of Beijing’s motives and fearful of being trapped by debt to China’s big development banks, losing faith in the plan?

BRI-backlash-illo-780

Illustration: Britt Spencer



It is the first great development project of the 21st century and maybe the greatest of all time. China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is ambitious, expensive and, in its own way, collaborative. 

A project slated to cost anything up to $8 trillion has so far been astonishingly good at corralling financing and galvanizing support from many of the 71 countries along its dual route – an overland ‘belt’ linking China with Europe and a maritime ‘road’ snaking through the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean.

Sovereigns short of quality infrastructure have borrowed heavily from the likes of Export-Import Bank of China (Chexim) and China Development Bank (CDB), Beijing’s development-banking double-act, while global investment banks work day and night to earn generous fees by channelling funding into anything bearing a ‘BRI’ tag. 

Some of these projects are hugely valuable. Take the new Chexim-funded $3.4 billion electric railway set to link the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa with Djibouti, a coastal state on the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, a pinch point on the way to the Suez Canal. 

Or the dual-purpose deep-sea port and special economic zone under construction on the Black Sea coast at Anaklia.




You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors

LOGIN NOW

Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree