There is a growing tide of opinion in the U.S. that treats China’s Belt and Road Initiative as a grand strategy of epic economic and geopolitical proportions. It holds that China is “methodically assembling a network of client governments in hock to Beijing and advancing its military ambitions.” But China is not a monolith, and neither is the Belt and Road Initiative. BRI, in reality, is a brand — a grab-bag of initiatives and projects that numerous Chinese institutions independently design and advance.
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