What reddit and this sub always don’t understand about China, BRI, or pretty much anything related to politics is a vast majority of the time, nations just do whatever benefits them the most, and aren’t “EVIL” or “GOOD”.
China and it’s involvement/investment in poorer nations isn’t some malicious scheme to seize them all as slaves for the great Chinese Empire, nor is it out of the goodness of their hearts, but rather because it is beneficial, and therefore a good idea. They genuinely want to be friends with these nations, but not because China is innately friendly, but because they benefit from being friends.
It’s like your neighbor or coworker. If you didn’t work or live next to Steve, you wouldn’t give a shit about Steve, he has nothing for you. But because he does, you become friends with Steve. You invite him to barbecues and help him clear his yard, and in exchange he watches your dog when you go on vacation and picks you up when your car breaks down.
China helps Ethiopia, Iran, or wherever else build roads and rail infrastructure, and in exchange they are allowed better deals to enter their markets or move goods through them, as well as gain UN votes, for whatever they’re worth. Nowhere in this deal is it some sinister plan, and nowhere is there some strange over-altruistic characteristics.
If it really was an evil plan to steal nations, why did they build an international airport in Pakistan for completely free? If it’s to purely help “the oppressed little guy”, why did they seize Hambantota? Because it’s neither.