In the last week of March, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi was on a whirlwind tour in South Asia, where the relations of several countries with Beijing, and thus the geopolitical constellations, seem to be shifting. After talks in Pakistan, where a serious political crisis is darkening the future of a Belt & Road flagship, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor CPEC, and a fly-by in Kabul, which has already been interpreted as a first step towards recognising the Taliban government, he made a visit to Nepal after a sensational detour into India.
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The Role of the State in China’s Belt and Road Initiative
It is not unusual that in huge infrastructure projects the state plays a crucial role in framing and implementation, often in varying forms of cooperation with private companies. Because of its distinctive regime character and relation with Chinese enterprises, the role that the Chinese state plays in the implementation of the ambitious infrastructure initiative BRI seems to be clearly different from similar initiatives.