China dominates the world in its overseas development finance into power plants, mines, dams, and other infrastructure. However, while many projects sail through, a good many get stalled. The results have less to do with Beijing and more with the strength of the host country partners. There is a complex dance between governments, elites, and bureaucrats to win the best “deal” with China, including Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects. These deals may benefit not just the economy, but also may empower one of these three actors.