Are China’s roads in South Asia a boon or a burden?

Pros of China’s roads in South Asia:
– Improved connectivity: China’s roads in South Asia have enhanced connectivity by facilitating smoother transportation of goods and people between countries in the region.
– Economic development: The infrastructure has contributed to the development of local economies by promoting trade and investment opportunities.
– Job creation: The construction and maintenance of these roads have generated employment opportunities in South Asia.
– Regional integration: The roads have helped foster closer ties and cooperation among countries in South Asia, promoting regional integration.
– Infrastructure upgrades: The development of roads has spurred the upgrade of overall infrastructure in the region, including ports and logistics facilities.

Cons of China’s roads in South Asia:
– Debt burden: Many countries in South Asia have accumulated significant debt due to the financing of these road projects, potentially burdening their economies in the long run.
– Economic dependency: Heavy reliance on Chinese investments and infrastructure could lead to increased economic dependency on China, potentially undermining national sovereignty.
– Environmental impact: The construction of roads may have adverse effects on the environment, including deforestation, habitat destruction, and increased pollution.
– Lack of transparency: There have been concerns about the lack of transparency surrounding the terms and conditions of the road projects, raising questions about accountability and governance.
– Unequal benefits: The benefits of China’s roads in South Asia may not be evenly distributed, with some regions and communities benefiting more than others.

Overall, while China’s roads in South Asia bring certain advantages such as improved connectivity and economic development, they also present challenges such as potential debt burdens and environmental consequences. The extent to which they constitute a boon or a burden depends on various factors and perspectives.


A decade has passed since Xi Jinping introduced the Belt and Road project, bringing about an evolution in its goals and outcomes.