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China's belt loosening

China's economy isn't skipping ahead as it once did, but its role as an engine for global expansion is only rising

There is a Chinese proverb that says: "To become rich, one must first build roads." As IMF president Christine Lagarde pointed out in mid-May during China's Belt and Road summit, with roads goes new ports, power and other industrial infrastructure as well as vastly improved social benefits from schooling to health. It's only now that economists are beginning to recognise that the vast Belt and Road (or One Belt, One Road—Obor) initiative, popularly known as the "Silk Road", will drive demand for energy right across the region for years to come. And Obor is gathering momentum at the very time that the Chinese economy is steadily becoming more consumption than manufacturing and capital-led. A

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