字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント Chinese President Xi Jinping calls it the project of the century. China's sprawling belt and road initiative, sometimes called the New Silk Road. Measured in today's dollars it has already cost more than the US Marshal Plan that rebuilt Europe after World War II. The World Bank estimates that some $575 billion worth of energy plants, railways, roads, ports, and other projects have been built or are in the works. With 130 nations signing deals or expressing interest from power plants in Pakistan to a high speed rail line in Indonesia it's one of the most ambitious intercontinental infrastructure projects in human history. The stakes for the belt and road project are astronomical. Both monetarily as Morgan Stanley estimates spending will total $1.3 trillion by 2027. And for China's global image on the world stage. China would like to make a deal much more than I would. As President Donald Trump scales back US involvement in international trade agreements Xi is using the belt and road to position himself as the champion of global cooperation, development, and free trade. But the project is not without its critics. There are accusations that China is luring poorer countries into debt traps for its own political and strategic gain. With some countries even downsizing or completely canceling projects even as new deals are being signed. Several countries have had to rethink their involvement. Often after popular backlash or change of government, or both. For example Sri Lanka borrowed $8 billion to build a new port, couldn't repay the loans, and then gave a state-owned Chinese company a 99 year lease in exchange for debt relief. The port has little business now but provides China a strategic berth along key shipping lanes. Myanmar also drastically scaled back a port deal struck under its previous military regime. Originally to $7.5 billion reduced to just $1.3 billion. China would like to get somewhat of a roll back. The Trump administration has sought to capitalize on the doubts with Vice President Mike Pence telling southeast Asian nations the US would not offer a constricting belt or a one way road. In the face of criticism President Xi is doing damage control. Calling the project a road for peace. In 2018 the initiative extended into South America, the Caribbean, and even the Arctic. In 2019 Italy became the first group of seven nation to sign up, brushing off warnings from both American and European allies. In Asia these are the countries that approve of the belt and road project. These are cautious, and these are opposed. Overall the World Bank says the revived silk road has the potential to stimulate economic growth. But with that growth comes challenges. Some of the risks include allegations of corruption like those the Kyrgyzstan Prime Minister is facing and potential for environmental damage. Which prompted a Kenyan court to order a halt to a power plant being built on Lamu Island, a major tourist destination. Xi, who is dealing with China's own debt problems and slowing economic growth has promised debt relief to some African nations. And a top Chinese regulator called for greater social responsibility in overseas investments. That's the kind of sensitivity China will need to show and follow through on if it's to win over their skeptics.