Seven years into a sweeping effort to rebuild Asia with itself at the center, China has a publicity problem with its Belt and Road Initiative. Trying to capitalize on Beijing’s missteps, a U.S.-led group of Chinese competitors have rolled out an alternative development scheme, known as the “Blue Dot Network.”
China's Belt and Road Initiative
Given the mission creep of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, Chinese leaders have moved to better define its scope, reining in some costly and indebted megaprojects. They have increasingly turned to other channels under the Belt and Road’s aegis, aimed at influencing media and academic circles abroad.
China is expected to promote a rebooted version of its Belt and Road Initiative when world leaders from 37 countries gather in Beijing this week for the second Belt and Road Forum. Critics have long viewed the initiative as a bid to spread Chinese influence abroad via “debt-trap diplomacy” and other tactics.