China’s Belt and Road extends to space, too
China’s Belt-and-Road-Initiative (BRI) is a multi-trillion dollars investment in the infrastructure of Asia, Africa, and Europe, including oceans. Currently including around 70 countries, the project has begun reaching into space, as high tech satellites have begun to accompany infrastructure development projects in many countries. As a part of the BRI, Chinese companies have financed, built, and launched multiple satellites for Nigeria, Laos, and Pakistan, among many others. There are questions that these satellites are part of China’s designs for political influence, as well as an aspect of its defense technology projects that seek to employ satellites for a “spatial information corridors” around the globe. These projects could “represent a way for China to gain significant political clout in these regions, by effectively controlling one of the means through which they access the internet.” These systems could also provide a backdoor for China to access internet systems in these countries.