Skip to main content

China's BRI initiative looks promising, but lacks transparency

By Sumitra NairMarch 18, 2019 16:59 IST

Chinese President Xi Jinping | AP

Chinese President Xi Jinping is on the verge of a major win as Italy prepares to join the Belt and Road Initiative wagon. The President will travel to Italy, Monaco and France this week, and Italy and China will sign a non-binding MoU regarding BRI. Despite reservations by other European nations and discomfiture by the United States, Rome is expected to join Xi's global trade infrastructure programme.

The New Silk Road project may seem like an all positive endeavour. But, the problem lies in its transparency. There's the risk of sensitive technology and critical infrastructure being shared. Transparency is especially important when it comes to China’s trade and investments practices. China's trade and investment practise are often seen as opaque and part of a 'debt-trap' diplomacy, with developing countries. European countries Greece and Portugal are becoming heavily dependent on Chinese loans. French President Emmanuel Macron said last week that European Union countries should have a "coordinated approach" regarding China.

"It's a good thing that China is participating in the development of many countries, but I believe in the spirit of equality, reciprocity. The spirit of equality means respecting the sovereignty of nations," Macron said.

In the past, however, when China has invested in infrastructure, maritime, rail and road projects in Asia, Africa and Europe, they end up mainly benefiting China, critics warnXi will be in Europe between March 21 to March 26. The project that hopes to improve trade links between Italy and China, may also connect Europe itself with China. The $1 trillion BRI plan will surely be a massive political breakthrough for China, making it a huge influencer. This is a primary reason that the United States may not be that happy with Italy's decision.

China has already made commitments worth $60 billion under BRI in Pakistan. The BRI initiative began five years ago and involves constructing roads, railway, ports and airports, pipelines and power plants in Asia, Europe and East Africa. Closer home, India, however, has stayed wary of backing the project. India remains hesitant to join the initiative. India, of course, has had problems with China, like, the country blocking UN Security Council's move to declare Jaish-e-Mohammed leader Masood Azhar a global terrorist— in a recent suicide attack claimed by JeM, 40 CRPF soldiers died in the Pulwama area in Kashmir. Then there was the Doklam stand-off in 2017.

Besides, analysts have stated that this initiative could also be China's move to be another East India Company. However, 70 countries stand to benefit from it. But, the problem comes in when a lot of countries do not have cash to back the initiative. And to this effect they end up taking Chinese loans which end up being difficult to repay. Take for instance what happened with Sri Lanka's Hambantota port. China had given Sri Lanka a loan for building it and since the country could not repay it, in a debt-repayment arrangement, China has taken the port on a 99-year lease. Kenya’s Mombasa port may meet with similar fate.

During Obama administration, the White House raised concerns about how the UK, under the leadership of David Cameron was cosying up to Beijing. This included UK’s decision to become a founder member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank that is being championed by Beijing to be an alternative to the World Bank. Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Greece, Malta and Portugal have already signed MoUs with China on the BRI. Italy willing to back the initiative could mean extending goodwill to Beijing, though the two countries have been trade partners. It also hopes to increase Italy's visibility as an investment destination. The probable deal is a departure from Italy's norm, for till now the country has focused on smaller, lesser developed countries.

All in all, while the BRI initiative may seem fine on the outside, clarity is very much needed.



https://www.theweek.in/news/world/2019/03/18/chinas-bri-initiative-looks-promising-but-lacks-transparency.html

Comments

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 .
        Balochs…