contracts, expanding China’s economic reach and Xi’s personal authority as holder of the purse strings. The Asian Development Bank says the region, home to 60 per cent of the world’s people, needs more than US$26 trillion (RM113 trillion) of infrastructure investment by 2030 to keep economies growing.
“China has not just the resources, which is key, but also the vision and desire and strategy to push its engagement outside its borders,” Afghan ambassador to Beijing Janan Mosazai said.
Yet, the initiative also comes with significant risks to Xi’s stature and legacy.
It could set back the goal of establishing a domestic economy centred on consumption rather than investment, said political commentator Hu Xingdou.
“China’s investment priority should be at home, not abroad. It’s possible that such forwardleaping overseas investments may delay domestic development.”