Along the jungle-covered mountains of Laos, squads of Chinese engineers are drilling hundreds of tunnels and bridges to support a 260-mile railway, a $6 billion project that will eventually connect eight Asian countries.
Chinese money is building power plants in Pakistan to address chronic electricity shortages, part of an expected $46 billion worth of investment.
Chinese planners are mapping out train lines from Budapest to Belgrade, Serbia, providing another artery for Chinese goods flowing into Europe through a Chinese-owned port in Greece.
The massive infrastructure projects, along with hundreds of others across Asia, Africa and Europe, form the backbone of China’s ambitious economic and geopolitical agenda. President Xi Jinping of China is literally and figuratively forging ties, creating new markets for the country’s construction companies and exporting its model of state-led development in a quest to create deep economic connections and strong diplomatic relationships.
The initiative, called “One Belt, One Road,” looms on a scope and scale with little precedent in modern history, promising more than $1 trillion in infrastructure and spanning more than 60 countries. To celebrate China’s new global influence, Mr. Xi is gathering dozens of state leaders, including President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, in Beijing on Sunday.
It is global commerce on China’s terms.
Mr. Xi is aiming to use China’s wealth and industrial know-how to create a new kind of globalization that will dispense with the rules of the aging Western-dominated institutions. The goal is to refashion the global economic order, drawing countries and companies more tightly into China’s orbit.
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SOURCE: NY Times