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China up close

Xi loyalists grab the reins of pivotal projects

Belt and Road, Beijing redevelopment spark dangerous turf wars

KATSUJI NAKAZAWA, Nikkei senior staff writer

TOKYO -- Chinese President Xi Jinping is giving close allies full control over two signature projects that promise to help him achieve total political supremacy: the Belt and Road Initiative and the remodeling of Beijing.

The former -- also known as One Belt, One Road -- is an effort to create a vast economic zone linking China to Europe and Africa by land and sea. This drive to build a new Silk Road and expand Beijing's sphere of influence will entail astronomical investments over many years. Key positions related to the initiative have been changing hands one after another. 

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