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Debt trap or improved infrastructure? What Nepal will get from China's OBOR

Nepal must not fall into the same debt trap as Sri Lanka; otherwise, its aspirations of a brighter future could turn into a mirage

How China's first 'silk road' slowly came to life - on the water
People take pictures of the "Golden Bridge on Silk Road" installation by artist Shu Yong, set up ahead of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing. Photo: Reuters

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has ambitions to reshape the global economy by connecting more than 60 countries across Asia, Europe and Africa through trade and infrastructure projects. All told, it’s envisioned that nearly two-thirds of the world’s population will in some way be connected through BRI projects in the future. Some economists estimate BRI could increase global trade by 12%. Despite these benefits, many questions have been raised about China’s motivations for the initiative, and whether Beijing can afford the US$1 trillion it has committed ...