Contributor Perspectives

The Return of Big Infrastructure as a Geopolitical Tool

Jeff Goodson
Board of Contributors
Oct 31, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
Workers watch in 2012 as water is released from the Three Gorges Dam, a gigantic hydropower project on the Yangtze River in central China.

Workers watch in 2012 as water is released from the Three Gorges Dam, a gigantic hydropower project on the Yangtze River in central China's Hubei province. Heavy downpours in the upper reaches of the dam caused the highest flood peak of the year.

(STR/AFP/GettyImages)

Big infrastructure is back. Long relegated to a secondary development objective by the West, China's gambit to use infrastructure as a vehicle for promoting foreign policy objectives is changing the geopolitical landscape. Infrastructure is the highest priority in almost every developing country. As I learned from working in 49 of them, when you ask the leaders about their top development priority, the answer is always the same: roads, power and water. Not necessarily in that order, and communications infrastructure is increasingly in the mix, but the response is consistent everywhere. That's because infrastructure -- along with security and good governance -- makes economic growth and stability possible....

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