Rust-belt China looks abroad as economy slows, tariffs bite

In this July 24, 2019, photo, workers watch as a truck passes by stacks of shipping containers at a port in Yingkou in northeastern China’s Liaoning Province. Authorities in China’s rust-belt region are looking for support for its revival from Beijing’s multibillion-dollar initiative to build ports, railways and other projects abroad. (AP Photo/Olivia Zhang)

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YINGKOU, China (AP) — From Thailand to Kenya, trains run on tracks from steel mills in China’s northeast, a rust-belt region that is trying to capitalize on a multibillion-dollar national initiative to build ports, railways and other projects abroad.

Announced in 2012, the Belt and Road Initiative is helping to boost demand from developing countries at a time when China’s economy is slowing and exporters face U.S. tariff hikes in a war over trade and technology.

It calls for building railways, power plants and other infrastructure across an arc of more than 60 countries from the South Pacific through Asia to Europe and Africa. Estimates of the total cost of planned projects run as high as $6 trillion, though it’s unclear if all will be built.

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