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The international community views the Belt and Road through a zero-sum lens. To succeed, Beijing should focus on its domestic aspirations, international responsibilities, and nonmonetary investments.
The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was established far earlier than the BRI, and it has become a sophisticated framework for China’s partnerships with African countries. Thus, FOCAC can be a mini-version of multilateral cooperation that aids the implementation of BRI projects.
China has often been accused of practicing “debt-trap diplomacy”—miring supposed partners, particularly developing countries, in unsustainable debt-based relationships. But this is a misreading of the issue, and nowhere is this more apparent than in China’s dealings with Venezuela.
Chinese experts are increasingly using the term “strategic stability” to refer to a bilateral nuclear relationship of mutual vulnerability. Maintaining such a mutually vulnerable relationship with other major nuclear powers, especially the U.S., is of ultimate importance for Chinese decisionmakers.
For the visit to be a success, Pompeo should leave Pyongyang with specific details on the North Korean nuclear inventory, concrete next steps and a timeline which shows Kim is earnest in denuclearizing, and an agreement on how verification of any of the aforementioned objectives will happen.
China and Latin America must confront the legacy of past deals gone wrong and attempt to move beyond commodity-based trade, investment and financing ties to forge more infrastructure cooperation.
China’s and India’s respective military postures, and the perceptions these developments engender on both sides, indicate a path forward. These nuclear rivals should take steps to stabilize their relationship and reduce the chances of conflict.
Despite the pageantry of the Singapore summit, the outcomes remain uncertain.
Whatever the outcome, the June 12 Trump-Kim summit will have major implications for the region’s security landscape.
Concerns about China’s mercantilist trade and investment policies have been at the forefront of growing frictions between China, the EU and the United States, but the Belt and Road Initiative has also highlighted worries about the lending of billions of dollars for infrastructure projects by its “policy banks”.