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Leaders from Recipient Countries Weigh In on BRI: Report

Chinese President Xi Jinping surrounded by other leaders at the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in October 2023. Pedro Pardo / AFP

The future of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is preoccupying China watchers around the world. However, the debate frequently leaves out the most important stakeholders: leaders from recipient countries.

A new report from AidData polled leaders and senior officials from 129 Belt and Road countries about their perceptions of the initiative. It provides a fascinating glimpse into what a project — frequently described only in terms of Beijing’s ambitions or Western fears — actually looks like from the perspective of the Global South.

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