HONG KONG: A new study says a massive Chinese infrastructure program that Beijing says is aimed at promoting global trade and economic growth is actually intended to expand the country's political influence and military presence.
The report by the US-based research group C4ADS released Tuesday questions China's portrayal of the trillion-dollar program, called the "Belt and Road Initiative.
" President Xi Jinping's signature foreign policy program, it is working to reinforce China's links to Southeast Asia, Europe and Africa through networks of roads, ports, railways, power plants and other infrastructure projects.
C4ADS examined official Chinese policy documents and unofficial reports by Chinese analysts to analyze Beijing's intentions.
It also examined 15 Chinese-funded port projects and concluded they aren't driven by "win-win" economic development for the individual host countries, as Beijing claims.