The “belt and road plan” is a colossal works program that will span Asia from Europe to the Pacific. It’s basically a modern day (or post modern day?) Silk Road. Many people will get rich from the initiative and no doubt the best connected will become the most rich.
But such projects are embedded with serious peril and what may seem a blessing can quickly turn into a curse. Of course the cronies will get richer, that is pretty much guaranteed.
Like the Soviet Union in the 1970s, China is coming to the end of a long labor-force boom, and hoping that an orgy of investment will keep the old magic going while stabilizing its fraying frontiers. The success or failure of its Belt and Road projects – and the still greater sums it’s spending domestically – will determine whether the nation achieves its dream of prosperity or succumbs to the same forces that doomed the U.S.S.R.