Skip to main content

Bangladesh resists 'debt-trap' of China, avoids Belt and Road Initiative heavy-handedness



Popular protests were raised against coal-based projects which, among others, were withdrawn, ostensibly for environmental concerns
Popular protests were raised against coal-based projects which, among others, were withdrawn, ostensibly for environmental concerns

DHAKA : Unlike Pakistan and Sri Lanka, Bangladesh has conducted prudent macro-economic management in order to not fall into any 'debt trap' of China and has avoided the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) heavy-handedness!

But Paulo Casaca, writing in South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF) cautioned Bangladesh authorities who have been relatively carefree to now be concerned at the potential geopolitical dependency brought by their participation on the BRI.



Bangladesh did not allow Chinese investment in deep-sea ports suitable for a future Chinese Navy presence, as it cancelled the Sonadia deep-sea project and only agreed to a port project in Payra, 'approachable only through a 75-kilometre-long canal, a very unlikely place for a naval base', reported S Ramachandran.



Bangladesh formalised its presence in the 'Belt and Road Initiative', on October 15, 2016, during a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to the country. Both countries also agreed to promote their relations to the level of 'strategic partnership'.

The volume of investments agreed made Bangladesh the second most important recipient of Chinese funds after Pakistan, reported S Ramachandran.

According to China Daily, and notwithstanding the pandemic-related general slowdown, Chinese investment has been steadily rising in domains such as infrastructure (a new railway crossing on the Padma River is a flagship project) and special economic zones, reported SADF.


The initiative faced some major hurdles. There were important clashes between local workers and Chinese expatriates at the site of the Payra power plant, reported Ramanchadran.

`

Popular protests were raised against coal-based projects which, among others, were withdrawn, ostensibly for environmental concerns. Contracts were also cancelled for bribery by the state-owned China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), which was blacklisted by Bangladesh authorities in 2018, reported Nikkei Asia.

Moreover, China tried to foray into Bangladesh internal matters when it warned Dhaka to not engage with India and Western powers.


Minister of National Defence Wei Fenghe declared in a meeting with Bangladesh's President Abdul Hamid that in order 'to jointly maintain regional peace and stability, the two sides should make joint efforts against powers outside the region setting up a military alliance in South Asia and practising hegemonism', reported Xinhua.

The point was repeated some days later in a clearer fashion by the Chinese Ambassador in Dhaka: 'Relations with China will be damaged if Bangladesh joins US-led 'Quad' - Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, an initiative of Australia, India, Japan and the US, reported The Daily Star.

The warning was more in line with the new Chinese 'wolf warrior diplomacy' than with the originally announced 'absence of strings attached' with BRI projects, wrote Casaca.


The Bangladeshi authorities' reply came swiftly; 'Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen made his displeasure clear, telling reporters: "We are an independent and sovereign state. We decide our foreign policy", reported Nikkei Asia.

The answer was sufficiently clear to cool down the Chinese authoritarian mood, for the time being, reported SADF.

In order to checkmate Chinese designs in the region, Casaca advised democratic countries and neighbours to support Bangladesh.

Bangladesh deserves to fully enjoy available support and engagement from democratic countries and neighbours within the multilateral domain, including naturally the Quad, deciding on each issue according to its own judgements and interests, wrote Casaca. (ANI)

https://www.livemint.com/news/world/bangladesh-resists-debt-trap-of-china-avoids-belt-and-road-initiative-heavyhandedness-11625962332098.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 yo

CPEC Jobs in Pakistan, salary details

JOBS...نوکریاں چائنہ کمپنی میں Please 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 daily Heavy Duty Driver: Rs. 1,700 daily Mason: Rs. 1,500 daily Helper: Rs. 850 daily Electrician: Rs. 1,700 daily Surveyor: Rs. 2,500 daily Security Guard: Rs. 1,600 daily Bulldozer operator: Rs. 2,200 daily Concrete mixer machine operator: Rs. 2,000 daily Roller operator: Rs. 2,000 daily Steel fixer: Rs. 2,200 daily Iron Shuttering fixer: Rs. 1,800 daily Account clerk: Rs. 2,200 daily Carpenter: Rs. 1,700 daily Light duty driver: Rs. 1,700 daily Labour: Rs. 900 daily Para Engine mechanic: Rs. 1,700 daily Pipe fitter: Rs. 1,700 daily Storekeeper: Rs. 1,700 daily Office boy: Rs. 1,200 daily Excavator operator: Rs. 2,200 daily Shovel operator: Rs. 2,200 daily Computer operator: Rs. 2,200 daily Security Supervisor: Rs.

A ‘European Silk Road’

publication_icon Philipp Heimberger ,  Mario Holzner and Artem Kochnev wiiw Research Report No. 430, August 2018  43 pages including 10 Tables and 17 Figures FREE DOWNLOAD The German version can be found  here . In this study we argue for a ‘Big Push’ in infrastructure investments in greater Europe. We propose the building of a European Silk Road, which connects the industrial centres in the west with the populous, but less developed regions in the east of the continent and thereby is meant to generate more growth and employment in the short term as well as in the medium and long term. After its completion, the European Silk Road would extend overland around 11,000 kilometres on a northern route from Lisbon to Uralsk on the Russian-Kazakh border and on a southern route from Milan to Volgograd and Baku. Central parts are the route from Lyon to Moscow in the north and from Milan to Constanţa in the south. The southern route would link Central Europe with the Black Sea area and