China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a $1 trillion (£800 billion) programme aimed at boosting China’s influence around the world, was launched 10 years ago under the guiding hand of Xi Jinping, the country’s president.
Beijing touts the programme as a success, a network of trade and transport links, but critics say that it is a debt trap and fosters government corruption.
We travelled to China’s neighbour Kazakhstan where BRI was unveiled a decade ago to assess the initiative – and hear about the human cost.
Khorgos, which straddles the border between China and Kazakhstan, is a special trade zone for the free exchange of goods and people.
But greater openness has allowed China to extend its alleged human rights abuses. We spoke to Kazakhs, some revealing for the first time about being chased and kidnappings from Khorgos – despite being outside Chinese territory – and the battle to bring them home.