At the Dawn of Belt and Road: China in the Developing World.

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* Everything an analyst would want to know about China and how it plans to exert soft power throughout the world can be found in this 400-page RAND Corp. report.

The tome breaks down by region China's four-year-old "Belt and Road Initiative," a policy designed to spread China's influence in some 68 nations through economic development.

Of particular interest is the chapter on Africa, a continent China clearly sees as one rife with opportunities. "Economically, Beijing has focused on gaining access to natural resources, creating markets for Chinese-manufactured goods, and developing manufacturing facilities that can take advantage of the continent's low labor costs," the report said.

It sends 50 percent of its foreign aid to the 51 nations it has...

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