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Is China's image as 'debt trap' villain deserved?

Beijing wants to shake off bad reputation, but Belt and Road still opaque

U.S. President Joe Biden, left, and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping: Sri Lanka granted a 99-year lease to China in 2017 for the use of Hambantota Port. (Source photos by Reuters)

TOKYO -- After securing an unprecedented third term as China's supreme leader at the Communist Party congress in Beijing last month, President Xi Jinping now confronts a raft of policy challenges on both the domestic and diplomatic fronts, including a fierce rivalry with the U.S., growing tensions in the Taiwan Strait and a slowing domestic economy.

But among the trickiest challenges he faces is dealing with the consequences of his signature policy program, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

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