CHINA’S bid to build a new “Red Empire” has left the world with a sea of roads to nowhere and half-built bridges. With promises of loans and vast infrastructure projects like roads, railways and bridges, more than 150 countries have signed up. Countries such as Sri Lanka, Kenya, Montenegro, Laos and Kazakhstan have found themselves crippled by debt and reliant on Beijing. After a decade of construction, experts told The Sun that Xi’s flagship project has mostly crumbled – leaving many poorer countries trapped by China’s control. “It has substantially broadened China’s sphere of influence in Africa, Asia, and even South America,” Professor Swain told The Sun.