The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is China’s globe-spanning plan for infrastructure construction and development. The Chinese government describes it as a effort “to enhance regional connectivity and embrace a brighter future together.” More skeptical voices would describe it as a textbook exercise in debt trap diplomacy, straddling developing countries with unsustainable debt to create leverage over them. The truth is likely somewhere in between, says Jonathan Hillman, director of the Reconnecting Asia Project at CSIS. In this episode, we chat with Hillman about the details of BRI, possibilities for reform, and ways that the United States and its allies can compete with it.
- Jonathan Hillman’s recent book: The Emperor’s New Road: China and the Project of the Century
- Reconnecting Asia’s interactive BRI tracker
- Read more articles about the economic aspects of the US-China relationship at the China Business Review.