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China Must Slow Down and Change Lanes With the Belt and Road Initiative (The Wire)

September 19, 2018

By Ravi Bhoothalingam 

From the article: 

These are not happy times for China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Just five years after China’s President Xi Jinping launched his signature multi-billion-dollar scheme for trans-Asian connectivity and infrastructure, its projects have aroused disquiet in Sri Lanka, Maldives, Myanmar, Malaysia and most recently in Pakistan. 

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In short order thereafter, concerns emerged about other Chinese projects. The Centre for Global Development, Washington D.C., published a study of 68 BRI-linked countries worldwide amongst which eight nations (including Maldives and Pakistan) were listed as ‘highly vulnerable to debt distress due to future BRI-related financing.’ Malaysia recently cancelled about $3 billion worth of BRI pipeline deal (where some Chinese-invested projects are entangled in a graft probe) and wished to renegotiate another – the prestigious East Coast Rail Link – with China. And right now, Pakistan has sought to ‘review or renegotiate’ parts of the $62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor(CPEC). “Et tu, Brute!” might be China’s rueful response to its ‘iron brother’. 

Read the full article here

 

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Senior Fellow, Director of the US Development Policy Initiative