BRI, Xi Jinping’s pet project said to be falling apart

DHARAMSALA, 15 March: Chinese President Xi Jinping’s pet project is failing miserably and now reduced it to becoming financial inviable, reports the Kabul Times.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s dream of setting a new world order has come crashing down after the Covid-19 slowed down the Belt Road Initiative (BRI), pushing it towards becoming financial inviable, the state-run English language newspaper in Afghanistan reported.

“20 per cent of the BRI projects were seriously affected while other 30-40 per cent witnessed adverse impact,” Wang Xiaolong, director-general of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s International Economic Affairs Department has stated in the report.

According to the report, China has been forced to cut back on new loans and investments under the BRI due to the country’s shrinking economy, which is aggravated by Covid-19.

As a result “Chinese overseas investments into countries of the BRI were about US$47 billion in 2020, about 54% less than in 2019,” Green Belt and Road Initiative Centre, a research organization has declared in its China BRI investment report 2020.

“Even in China’s all-weather ally Pakistan, just 32 of the total 122 projects announced under the BRI could be completed so far,” the report added.

The report further held that BRI projects were replete with “problems such as corruption, lack of financial transparency, unfair loan conditions, fears of debt-traps, and negative social and environmental impacts.”

Additionally, Rhodium Group, an independent research organization has noted in the report that “the progress or growth of BRI projects had begun decelerating even before the COVID-19 outbreak.”

The failure of Xi’s pet project “will force Beijing to tighten fiscal discipline and work on financial risk,” the report said and added that this will hold back China from “pumping money into the BRI projects.”

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