‘The backbone of a new world order’: How is Xi Jinping’s signature policy to shake US global influence going?

China’s grand Belt and Road Initiative has been underway for a decade as part of Beijing’s crusade to become the world’s leading economic superpower at the centre of a new global trade network.

Another raft of projects was added to the campaign’s to-do list at the weekend’s China-Central Asia Summit, where Chinese President Xi Jinping promised to build more railway and other trade links with Central Asia. 

“We need to expand economic and trade ties,” Mr Xi said in a speech to leaders from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan on Friday.

The summit coincided with

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