Can anyone give their insight?

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MisterChris
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For the NSDA Sep/Oct Public Forum debate topic this year, it is "The European Union should join the Belt and Road Initiative."

Doing preliminary research rn, but what do you educated folks have to say about this topic? Any ideas for pro/con arguments?
Christen
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I don't know what that is, and if I don't know what something is, it's going to likely be boring.
MisterChris
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--> @Christen
fair enough
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--> @Christen
That is the most narrow-minded way of approaching life that I have ever come across literally ever.
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I agree with RM
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--> @MisterChris
There are two enormous points about the Belt-And Road initiative that all attention gravitates towards, and for good reason. 

The first of which is that the whole initiative may be an elaborate ploy by China to expand its influence into lesser-developed countries and replace the United States as the top influencer in the region by throwing money at everything.

By proposing infrastructure improvements in these countries whose governments cant afford to finance them, China also presents itself as the one willing to finance loans to those countries in order to undertake the infrastructure upgrades, becoming a creditor nation to countries that beforehand had no debts to China.... China's history with currency manipulation and other shady economic activities makes it a valid concern that China might exploit those loans and debts owed to them by countries that buy into the Belt and Road program in order to exert influence over those nations and align them to China's agenda, whatever it may be. 


The second issue is that China may already be backing out of the program. 

A lot of the projects in Africa, where infrastructure upgrades are needed the most, initial costs of projects have repeatedly increased and ballooned in price that China has shown to be more hesitant to finance. Many of the projects that were accepted by African nations were done between 2013 to 2016, when China's economic growth was at its peak https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3022301/lenders-remorse-china-finds-africa-projects-require-growing However, economic growth has since slowed down, and China is now more cautious in financing certain projects as part of the very initiative it introduced in the first place, causing them to effectively freeze a few projects they proposed in the first place. 

The most obvious example of this is Kenya, where a proposed railroad from the coast of the nation to other nations further inland was put on hold because China now has concerns about the economic feasibility about the project compared to when they first explored the option: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-07-19/china-s-belt-and-road-leaves-kenya-with-a-railroad-to-nowhere 

"The first half of the Kenya-Uganda railway, a 470-kilometer (290-mile) stretch between the port city of Mombasa and Nairobi, is operational but not yet making money. Beijing balked at funding the extension to Uganda amid concerns it may be a step too far beyond viability."

If China is beginning to re-evaluate the profitability of certain projects that were the go-to example they were willing to show off for their Belt and Road program, then there's no telling which other lesser projects China might become inclined to abandon, which leaves a substantial risk to African nations that buy into the program since they may end up dumping millions of dollars into a hole that goes nowhere. 

Just based on that alone, The EU should stay the hell away from the Belt and Road initiative. Its effectively a ploy by China to become the top financier of projects in countries that are still developing to increase their own influence that they may be willing to forget about entirely if they decide the projects they are willing to fund wont be worth it anyways. 
DBlaze
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--> @Christen
I thought it was pretty funny.  Where is everyone's sense of humor, it doesn't even matter if he is serious or not.... it's funny either way.

Good one Christen!
MisterChris
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I don't mind too much either, I just wanted some info and @imabench did an excellent job
MisterChris
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Thank you for your input! Some of those I did not consider, and will be a great help. Con seems to be the intuitive position for the West, so I wonder what some good Pro positions are. Anyway, thanks again for the excellent contribution and effort