Pearls [China’s String of]

China now owns/controls many ports along the Belt and [maritime] Road.  Gwadar, in Pakistan; Piraeus, in Greece and in 2018, Hambantota in Sri Lanka.  From the New York Times,

“The case is one of the most vivid examples of China’s ambitious use of loans and aid to gain influence around the world — and of its willingness to play hardball to collect.  The debt deal also intensified some of the harshest accusations about President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative: that the global investment and lending program amounts to a debt trap for vulnerable countries around the world, fueling corruption and autocratic behavior in struggling democracies.”