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A Chinese construction worker at the site of a Chinese-backed hotel complex in Colombo in October 2015   © Getty Images
The Big Story

Is China's Belt and Road working? A progress report from eight countries

Beijing's infrastructure push clouded by project delays and mounting debt

GO YAMADA, Nikkei senior deputy editor, STEFANIA PALMA, Asia editor at The Banker | China

GWADAR, Pakistan -- The idea of transforming the ancient fishing village of Gwadar into a bustling port city has been around since at least 1954, when Pakistan commissioned the U.S. Geological Survey to examine its coastline. Their conclusion: Gwadar, which sits on the Arabian Sea, would be an ideal location for a deep-water port.   

Gwadar's potential went unrealized for decades, but it is now at the heart of a hugely ambitious plan known as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC. China has pledged to spend $63 billion to bolster Pakistan's power plants, ports, airports, expressways and other infrastructure under the initiative, which Beijing positions as one of the pillars of its $1 trillion global Belt and Road Initiative championed by Chinese President Xi Jinping.   

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