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How Trump’s tariffs and WTO threats fuel China’s Belt and Road Initiative

constructions workers and equipment around stars of Chinese flag
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) — his vision for putting Beijing at the center of the global economy through $1 trillion in new infrastructure, trade deals and other connections — has encountered trouble in recent months, creating a backlash among both participating and prospective countries.

Yes, but: Just when the BRI is struggling, U.S. trade policy, especially President Trump's tariffs and reported threats to withdraw from the World Trade Organization (WTO), might unwittingly give it a boost.