China's Belt and Road is shrinking; it may be bad news for US and allies

A rebalancing away from the most toxic aspects of the Belt and Road would certainly limit China's ability to ensnare smaller countries in debt and gain access to such strategic assets

belt and road

China’s globe-spanning infrastructure program is shrinking. The rhetoric at the second Belt and Road Forum, opening in Beijing on Thursday, is almost certain to be less triumphalist -- and new plans for roads, pipelines, bridges and rail lines more modest -- than at the first. Unfortunately for the US and its allies, though, a downsized program could pose more, not less of a competitive threat to the West. Until now, most worries about the Belt and Road have focused on its size and its weak standards. The sheer volume of the supposedly multi-trillion-dollar initiative looked ...