Belt and Road Initiative

Belt and Road Initiative

Kenya opens new China-funded rail line
The second section of a China-funded railway connecting Kenya’s capital Nairobi to Naivasha, a town in the Central Rift Valley, opened on October 16, 2019.  Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, while on board the train's maiden journey, used the trip as an opportunity to reject criticism that the infrastructure project is a white elephant.  Critics say the project known as the Standard Gauge Railway will be unable to generate enough revenue from cargo services to cover its cost. 
Kenya opens new China-funded rail line
This beach town is betting its future on Chinese money
Sihanoukville may be more than 2,000 miles away from Beijing, but it feels more like a Chinese city than a sleepy beach town in Cambodia. Everywhere, people can be heard speaking in Mandarin. Chinese restaurants have sprung up on dusty roads where huge construction sites – including for many hotels and more than 80 casinos – now dominate the skyline. This former fishing village in the country’s southwest used to be a favorite of backpackers. Now it is booming, and much of the development is being driven by Chinese money. But while the boom has created opportunities, it has also brought serious problems for Sihanoukville. Authorities say illegal gambling, prostitution and drug trafficking are
This beach town is betting its future on Chinese money
Why China sent empty cargo containers by railway to Europe
Widespread waste and fraud associated with China’s Belt and Road Initiative has been revealed after the country’s state railway group admitted that a significant amount of cargo containers shuttling between China and Europe were empty. The admission by the state-run China Railway, the sole operator of the lines, followed an investigation by the Chinese Business Journal, which found that in one extreme case only one of 41 containers on a particular train actually carried goods. The belt and road plan, masterminded by President Xi Jinping, is the central government’s initiative to link economies into a China-centred trading network to grow global trade. This led to many local governments rushi
Why China sent empty cargo containers by railway to Europe
Is China putting Africa on the debt-trap express?
When Clement Mouamba, prime minister of the Republic of Congo, went to Beijing last year, he had an important task: to find out exactly how much his country owed China.  The struggling, oil-rich central African nation had, until then, not been able to provide a number to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to qualify for a bailout.  The IMF had postponed talks on further loans until Mouamba’s administration could say how much it had to repay to its external creditors, including China – the republic’s single largest bilateral lender – and oil multinationals such as Glencore and Trafigura. The country, which heavily depends on oil revenue, turned to China and oil majors for funding to run th
Is China putting Africa on the debt-trap express?
US warns of Chinese ‘debt trap’ in new video
To promote its “Belt and Road Initiative”, China has created several videos preaching the virtues of friendship between nations, including a music video that was parodied by the comedian John Oliver. But in an apparent answer to China’s publicity campaigns, the United States has produced a video dissing Beijing’s trade push as a trap for its participating countries. The video by the US State Department warns countries to be careful not to “get caught in the debt trap.” The video has been subtitled in six other languages apart from English. It warned that countries would face the risk of excess debt, environmental problems and losing control of their strategic assets if they signed up, citin
US warns of Chinese ‘debt trap’ in new video
Study challenges accusations of China’s ‘debt trap’ diplomacy
As it struggled to pay back loans to Chinese firms, Sri Lanka’s handover in 2017 of a strategic port to China on a 99-year lease became a smoking gun for critics of Beijing’s “debt trap diplomacy.” But a new study of China’s loans to developing countries challenges this view. As part of its vast “Belt and Road Initiative,” Beijing is seeking to link China to Europe, the Middle East, Africa and beyond with new roads and ports, often with Chinese funding. While Chinese President Xi Jinping has presented the program as a trade push that benefits everyone involved, Washington has slammed the Chinese deals as opaque and predatory. But research by the Rhodium Group, a New York-based consultancy, h
Study challenges accusations of China’s ‘debt trap’ diplomacy
Why Washington isn’t joining China’s Belt and Road party
Foreign leaders and delegates from more than 100 countries will join a summit in Beijing this week to promote China’s ambitious Belt and Road initiative. But the country’s largest trading partner, the United States, will be absent. China has invested billions of dollars in infrastructure projects overseas under the program aimed at promoting economic cooperation along the ancient Silk Road. However, the plan has also been criticized as Beijing’s scheme to spread its own political influence by giving out massive loans. Some countries have since walked back from it. Once muted, the US response to the sprawling plan that covers the Middle East, Europe, Africa and beyond has now veered towards a
Why Washington isn’t joining China’s Belt and Road party
The EU and China are closer than ever. Thanks, Trump
When Donald Trump pushed to “make America great again,” he might not have counted on losing so many friends along the way. The European Union, one of Washington’s closest allies, is now increasingly wary of a protectionist US that prioritizes its own interests over rivals and friends alike. That’s left several EU member states marching to link up with none other than China’s Belt and Road trade initiative against US warnings that the scheme leads to “debt trap” dependence on China. The Belt and Road initiative is Chinese President Xi Jinping’s flagship investment program, which aims to build infrastructure in nations accounting for 68% of the world’s population and 36% of its gross domestic
The EU and China are closer than ever. Thanks, Trump
Ethiopian envoy defends Chinese loans against ‘debt trap’ worries
Ethiopia is renegotiating billions of dollars in loans from Beijing for a railway to avoid being buried by “serious” debt woes, Ethiopia’s top envoy to Beijing said. The railway links the Ethiopian capital to neighboring Djibouti, and is tied to China’s global infrastructure push that critics say sets a “debt trap” for poorer countries. It’s common practice for a country unable to meet the terms of an existing loan to try to renegotiate a new repayment schedule or new financing. But when it comes to China as a lender, the loans have taken on a geopolitical dimension as the United States accuses Beijing of using loans to expand its sphere of influence. Supporters of this view have pointed to
Ethiopian envoy defends Chinese loans against ‘debt trap’ worries
China’s push into Europe is looking like a rough ride
When the leaders of China and 16 countries in central and eastern Europe gather in southern Croatia early next month, Beijing will be looking to one project as a symbol of what they can achieve. The project, the Peljesac Bridge, is funded by the European Union and is being built by a Chinese state-owned firm. When completed, it will be the longest bridge in Croatia, with the second-longest span in Europe. The bridge exemplifies the strategy that China has promoted under the country’s trade push into Europe, commonly known as the “16 + 1” initiative. But with few other signs of progress for the 16 European players, participants are questioning whether the strategy is wishful thinking. The br
China’s push into Europe is looking like a rough ride