An idea as big as China’s “Belt and Road” is bound to have contradictions. As Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature foreign policy vision, it is massive in all dimensions, aiming to bind Beijing with the rest of the world through more than $1 trillion of new infrastructure, scores of trade agreements and countless other connections.
But there is a fundamental tension between the connectivity China says it seeks and the control it is unwilling to give up. Even as China claims to be championing globalization and broadening ties, it is clamping down in critical borderlands that Belt and Road routes would pass through, potentially crippling its own projects.… Seguir leyendo »
In December, a Chinese state-owned enterprise took over a port here in this small fishing town on Sri Lanka’s southern coast. The port was never intended to be Chinese-owned and operated, but it was Chinese-financed and built, creating a debt that Sri Lanka could not repay. As Sri Lanka celebrates 70 years of independence from British imperial rule, some fear the nation now faces a new form of colonialism.
The episode has turned tiny Hambantota into something of a global lighthouse. Sitting in the Indian Ocean, it serves as a warning about the hazards of China’s global infrastructure push, which could make small economies dependent even while helping them develop.… Seguir leyendo »
There's a party in the Asia Pacific, and the United States wants India to be its date. As U.S. foreign policy "pivots" away from the Middle East and Europe and toward Asia, U.S. officials are doing everything they can to cozy up to the nation that Mark Twain once called "the cradle of the human race."
America's courtship — a bipartisan effort — has included the great-power equivalent of sending flowers (civil nuclear technology underGeorge W. Bush), chocolates (more than $8 billion in U.S. arms during the last decade) and love letters (India is the only state deemed a "strategic partner" in the Pentagon's most recent strategy review).… Seguir leyendo »