Almost 30 heads of state will gather in Beijing this weekend for the “Belt and Road” Forum, the annual conference about the Chinese mega-project to build highways and railroads to the farthest parts of the Eurasian land mass. By some measures, it’s China’s biggest diplomatic event of the year. But the United States and many of its allies will send junior delegations — and India will be conspicuously absent. This reflects caution, if not outright apprehension, about the overall Belt and Road Initiative, and in particular the $50 billion “flagship” portion called the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC.
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