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The clouds gathering around China's Belt and Road

Malaysia vote highlights concerns shared by Western powers

| China
Malaysia’s ex-Prime Minister Najib Razak lost the national election partly because of hostility to close ties to Chinese President Xi Jinping.   © Reuters

China's President Xi Jinping promises that his Belt and Road Initiative, a sweeping vision to put China at the center of the global economy through new infrastructure, trade deals and other connections, was a "plan in the sunshine."

But make no mistake, the BRI's outlook is darkening. Critics -- including some of Beijing's actual and potential partners -- are raising concerns about transparency, debt sustainability and usefulness, as well as questioning China's underlying strategic aims.

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