Schools, stadiums or airports help the presidents of countries that receive cash from Beijing tighten their grip on power
China’s financing of overseas projects has disproportionately benefited the core political supporters of incumbent presidents or prime ministers of those countries that receive the funds, according to a new book.
During the 20th century, China was mostly known as a recipient of international development finance. Its overseas development programme was modest – roughly on a par with that of Denmark. But over the course of one generation, as Beijing emerged as the world’s second-largest economy, its footprint began to extend far beyond its borders – often in the form of infrastructure initiatives such as Belt and Road.