Natasha Kassam & Darren Lim on China’s ‘inducements and intimidation’
Much of China’s effort to reshape the order comes through its ties with individual countries. Beijing uses its wealth and power to induce and coerce support for its positions, regardless of the corrosive impact on existing rules and norms.
A key source of inducements is the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Xi’s signature foreign policy program. Aligning closely with the “right to development” China emphasised in its 2017 UN Human Rights Council resolution, the BRI deploys China’s wealth and expertise to build a cross-national network of physical and digital connections with Beijing at its centre. Chinese loans finance construction, largely by Chinese companies, of the types of projects that have powered China’s own economic success. A closer inspection of the countries supporting Hong Kong’s national security legislation at the Human Rights Council finds that at least forty-three have signed on to the BRI.