E Belt And Road: The Sri Lanka-China Port

Belt and Road By Lommes - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has caused quite a controversy in the USA. China haters despise it. Most of them seem to reside within the government of the USA, since most nations at least tentatively embrace the concept. Before discussing the port dispute in Sri Lanka, it is useful to go back to the origins of the Belt and Road, then known as One Belt One Road. 

Brookings ran an op-ed back in Summer of 2015 in which the author points out that China had overcapacity problems. It was necessary for the nation to improve consumption at home and investment abroad. China wanted the World Bank, which is really the development bank of the western world, to invest in infrastructure. China was frustrated at the failure of this bank to do so. 

In response to the West's fossilized ways, China formed the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the AIIB. The Chinese had a surplus of infrastructure materials. After all, one can only build so many empty cities. According to Brookings, the United States was immediately against the bank, and its pet project, One Belt One Road. Makes one wonder what is going on in our nation. We can't even fix the infrastructure in our own nation and China is fixing up almost 50 ports and is building highways in foreign lands! 

As you read on, keep in mind that India has over 7 percent investment in the AIIB. And China has close to 30 percent. India may not want the infrastructure of Belt and Road to be built on its soil, but that nation has a strong interest in the success of the venture. China is willing to put infrastructure out into the world. It is hard for the USA to make the case that this is political, as much as it is economic necessity. 

According to the World Bank, China has brought more people out of poverty (at least 500 million) than currently reside in the entire USA. A nation of communists has shown more compassion for poor people than the leading nation on earth that supposedly retains some Judeo/Christian values. 

According to NPR:


What China — its government and its people — have achieved is unprecedented in human history: Around 700 million Chinese have worked their way above the poverty line since 1980, accounting for three-quarters of global poverty reduction during that period. 


There was lots of what now could be called propaganda (I leave it to the reader to judge), regarding the Hambantota port in the news. This port was built prior to the China Belt and Road Initiative, but was incorporated into that plan. Analysis is made regarding the Belt and Road, and some it may have merit but clearly, much of it is just bah humbug.

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Disclosure: I have no financial interest in any companies or industries mentioned. I am not an investment counselor nor am I an attorney so my views are not to be considered investment ...

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Gary Anderson 2 years ago Author's comment

Condolences to Sri Lanka, a nation with problems that surely pines for peace among its varied peoples. Hoping the majority and the minorities learn to live in peace. Life is too short for any alternative.

Ayelet Wolf 2 years ago Member's comment

Yes, utterly tragic!