Analysis of China’s Belt and Road Initiative

Are the wheels coming off China’s megaproject?

Kenya is the latest country where China is frantically defusing a public relations storm over President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road megaproject.

The BRI is facing pressure from Washington — despite the temporarily paused trade war — and other rival nations keen to restrain China from supplanting their influence over developing countries, as well as a potential funding shortfall for future projects.

While boosters for the BRI remain plentiful, and the project is not on the verge of failing any time soon, there are signs that a shift is underway. The number of contracts signed in 2018 was down on previous years, and country’s big development banks have reportedly been told to partner with the World Bank and other international lenders on future projects.

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