China’s audacious $1.8 trillion global infrastructure and construction project, touted as the new Silk Road, is a clear sign of the country’s ambition to be seen as a champion of globalisation and free trade.

The massive project, called ‘the Belt and Road,’ aims to increase China’s trade links with over 70 countries, many of which have already signed up to be connected by an international road, railway and sea infrastructure network, largely financed, built and serviced by Chinese banks developers, contractors and manufacturers. Australia is…