Skip to main content

US officials warn China’s BRI could lead to debt trap, undermine sovereignty

Published: November 11, 2018 10:00 am On: Nepal



Washington, DC, November 10

US government officials and experts have expressed apprehension about China’s flagship multi-trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative.

They have warned it could lead to debt trap and undermine sovereignty in the long run, harming the participating countries’ interest. They also said the BRI, introduced by Chinese President Xi Jinping, lacked transparency and was aimed at fulfilling China’s own security and strategic interests rather than promoting economic development.

These views come at a time when Sri Lanka is struggling to repay Chinese debt to build a port in Hambantota at a cost of over US$1 billion due to inability to generate business. The asset and 15,000 acres of land around it have now been handed over to China for 99 years, giving the world’s second largest economy control over territory just a few hundred miles off the Indian coast.

Recently, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad also warned that $23 billion worth of Chinese-funded projects could be cancelled as many of them did not make financial sense.

“China has right to invest in infrastructure projects and many countries are now a part of BRI,” Satu Limaye, director of East-West Centre in Washington and also the director of Asia Matters for America Initiative, told South Asian journalists during the ‘Amplifying the Indo-Pacific Strategy’ programme. “But there is a concern about countries’ sovereignty and debt trap.”

The BRI, which includes 71 countries from Asia, Europe and Africa, is a massive programme aimed at developing hard infrastructure such as transportation system and power grids and soft infrastructure such as signing of trade deals. But recently the Centre for Global Development said eight more Belt and Road countries, excluding Sri Lanka and Malaysia, were at serious risk of not being able to repay loans. The countries are: Djibouti, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, the Maldives, Mongolia, Montenegro, Pakistan and Tajikistan.

“Projects built by China under BRI have no commercial value,” said Alice G Wells, principal deputy assistant secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, the US Department of State. “This will increase debt, undermining the sovereignty of the country.” She also said the procurement and contract handover processes under the BRI were not transparent and open to competition.

Countries looking to attract private sector investment for economic development, according to Wells, should become a part of the US government’s Better Utilisation of Investments Leading to Development Act, or BUILD Act.

“Nepal can also benefit from the BUILD Act,” Wells said, adding, “The US and Nepal have a historic relationship and the US always wants to work with and help Nepal.”

The BUILD Act, a strategic move to counter BRI in the Indo-Pacific region, will create a new international development finance corporation, which will have the capacity to invest $60 billion. “Financial support will also come from other foreign banks,” Wells said, adding, “The projects under the BUILD Act will also work to promote security, peace and prosperity in participating countries.” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has already announced $300 million additional funds for the Indo-Pacific region.


Popular posts from this blog

SSG Commando Muddassir Iqbal of Pakistan Army

“ Commando Muddassir Iqbal was part of the team who conducted Army Public School operation on 16 December 2014. In this video he reveals that he along with other commandos was ordered to kill the innocent children inside school, when asked why should they kill children after killing all the terrorist he was told that it would be a chance to defame Taliban and get nation on the side. He and all other commandos killed children and later Taliban was blamed.
Muddassir Iqbal has deserted the military and now he is  with mujahedeen somewhere in AF PAK border area”
For authenticity of  this tape journalists can easy reach to his home town to interview his family members or   ISPR as he reveals his army service number”
Asalam o Alaikum: My name is Muddassir Iqbal. My father’s name is Naimat Ali. I belong to Sialkot divison (Punjab province), my village is Shamsher Poor and district, tehsil and post office  Narowal. Unfortunately I was working in Pakistan army. I feel embarrassed to tell you …

CPEC Jobs in Pakistan, salary details

JOBS...نوکریاں چائنہ کمپنی میںPlease help the deserving persons...Salary:Salary package in China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in these 300,000 jobs shall be on daily wages. The details of the daily wages are as follows;Welder: Rs. 1,700 dailyHeavy Duty Driver: Rs. 1,700 dailyMason: Rs. 1,500 dailyHelper: Rs. 850 dailyElectrician: Rs. 1,700 dailySurveyor: Rs. 2,500 dailySecurity Guard: Rs. 1,600 dailyBulldozer operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyConcrete mixer machine operator: Rs. 2,000 dailyRoller operator: Rs. 2,000 dailySteel fixer: Rs. 2,200 dailyIron Shuttering fixer: Rs. 1,800 dailyAccount clerk: Rs. 2,200 dailyCarpenter: Rs. 1,700 dailyLight duty driver: Rs. 1,700 dailyLabour: Rs. 900 dailyPara Engine mechanic: Rs. 1,700 dailyPipe fitter: Rs. 1,700 dailyStorekeeper: Rs. 1,700 dailyOffice boy: Rs. 1,200 dailyExcavator operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyShovel operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyComputer operator: Rs. 2,200 dailySecurity Supervisor: Rs. 2,200 dailyCook for Chinese food: Rs. 2,000 dailyCook…

Historical relationship between Kurd and Baloch.

The Kurds are the ethnical group living in a region known as Kurdistan which is divided into Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran. They  are struggling for an independent region since decades and they are famous for their female guerrilla fighters.        On 25 September 2017, the referendum for an independent Kurdish region  was held in Iraq with a turn out of 72 %.   On this important occasion, the historical relation between Kurd and Baloch people is worth discussing.       When it comes to history, every nation tends to find its roots and origin. Same goes with the Baloch people. The Baloch people are always curious  about  finding their roots in history. Even if you  talk to a shepherd in Balochistan, he will be curious to talk about his  tribal or ethnical roots.      The Balochs have always conveyed the history to the next generations in different mediums like poems etc. No Baloch before 20th century had written books on  history  or origin of the Baloch nation .