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China Is Building A New One Belt, One Road Trade Network That May Ensnare Some Of Its Country Partners

ArmchairTechInvestor, May 18, 2018, by Brad Peery

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China has underway a massive project, One Belt, One Road (OBOR), to build a land and sea network connecting Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. China is planning to spend $4 trillion to as much as $8 trillion on the trade route infrastructure in over 60 countries. This will include spending on ports, roads, railways, airports, power plants, telecommunications, and other infrastructure, including gas and oil pipelines. The network has been designed by and implemented by China. The countries on the network will individually be nodes on the network. There are six economic corridors on the network. China says that the infrastructure is for the purpose of enabling economic growth in some of China’s surrounding countries. The corridors are the:
• China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor (CMREC);
• New Eurasian Land Bridge (NELB);
• China-Central and West Asia Economic Corridor (CCWAEC);
• China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor (CICPEC);
• China Pakistan-Economic Corridor (CPEC); and
• Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIMEC)

China is providing financing in the form of high interest loans. China is being accused by many of using the loans to put many small countries in default, and to thereby take over the projects that they have financed.

*According to Wikipedia there are numerous difficulties being faced by the One Belt, One Road project. They include: “
• Nepal – US$2.5 billion: $2.5 billion Budhi Gandaki Hydro Electric Dam Project was canceled by Nepal in November 2017 for the violation of bidding rules.
• Hungary: European Union is investigating Hungary-Serbia high-speed railway project build by Chinese contractors for the violation of bidding rules.
• Myanmar – US$3 billion: $3 billion refinery contract to China was terminated after financing issues.
• Pakistan – US$22.3 billion: $10 billion Karachi rail project and $260 million Gwadar airport were stalled and US$12 billion Diamer-Bhasha Dam in Gilgit-Baltistan was cancelled due to ownership stake.
• Thailand – US$15 billion: High-speed railway was cancelled in 2016 for not subcontracting sufficient work to Thai companies.
• Tanzania – US$11 billion: Bagamoyo Port was stalled due to financing issues.
• Sri Lanka – $1.5 billion: Hambantota Port led to Sri Lanka running into financial problems due to the high interest rate of loan given by Chinese, leading to assets transfer to China.
• Asia, Africa, and the Middle East projects: BMI Research database of Asia, Africa and the Middle East shows many projects are too vague and some are planned up to 30 years in the future.”
*Wikipedia, May 18, 2018

With many of the projects being port developments, these joint ventures with the countries could allow China to expand their naval presence throughout Asia, Africa and the Middle East.