As of today, you will find the NEWS of last week at the end of the Newsletter!
China’s gains power through Belt & Road investments, but resistance is growing
Today’s TextileFuture Newsletter shows the hegemonic power strategy of China, in facts and figures, as well as the growing resistance and the difficulties of states to get out of the financial engagements. It is based upon an enlightening feature of the New York Times.
China has created a modern-day counterpart to the Marshall Plan, the U.S. reconstruction programme after World War II that laid the foundation for America’s enduring military and diplomatic alliances. The New York Times shows a growing negative resistance of countries entering into a closer relationship with China.
Seven dams generate almost half of Cambodia’s electricity. China built and paid for all of them.
This one, near Cambodia’s southern coast, is about 360 feet tall. It is the fourth-largest by power output in the country.
Sri Lanka borrowed more than USD 1 billion from China for this strategic deepwater port, but could not repay the money. The port is now controlled by China, which is leasing it for the next 99 years.
South Africa turned to China for USD 1.5 billion for a coal-fired power plant. It is one of at least 63 such plants financed by China around the world, which collectively pollute more than Spain.
Zambia tapped China for USD 94 million to build a soccer stadium of over 50,000 seats. These are among the more than 600 projects around the world that China has financed to win new friends and develop new markets.
The World built by China
By guest authors Derek Watkins, K.K. Rebecca Lai and Keith Bradsher from New York Times
China envisions a vast global network of trade, investment and infrastructure that will reshape financial and geopolitical ties — and bring the rest of the world closer to Beijing.
It is a modern-day version of the Marshall Plan, America’s reconstruction effort after World War II, which created a foundation for enduring military and diplomatic alliances. China’s strategy is bolder, more expensive and far riskier.
Its money does not necessarily come with the usual rules. And the cost, for China and its borrowers alike, can sometimes be too high.
We examined nearly 600 projects that China helped finance in the last decade, through billions of dollars in grants, loans and investments. Taken together, they show the scope and motivation of China’s strategy.
41 pipelines and other oil and gas infrastructure help China secure valuable resources.
203 bridges, roads and railways create new ways for China to move its goods around the world.
199 power plants — for nuclear, natural gas, coal and renewables — give China new markets for its construction and equipment companies.
We found 112 countries where China has financed projects. While most fall under its infrastructure plan known as the Belt and Road Initiative, Beijing has pushed beyond those boundaries.
After years of honing its construction skills at home, China is now deploying them abroad, including a series of hydroelectric dams.
China needs friends. And, literal bridges can help build figurative ones.
Large ports in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Malaysia — three countries along a major oil and commerce route from the Mideast and Africa — could someday double as naval logistics hubs.
Beijing is heavily focused on its neighbours, lending them money for extensive road-building projects. Pakistan is running out of money to repay the loans, part of a broader pattern of what critics call China’s “debt trap” diplomacy.
China has a different view when it comes to labour and environmental strictures. To staff overseas projects, Chinese companies have flown in their own workers by the thousands, drawing complaints that they are doing little to create local jobs. Safety standards have been uneven.
And, Beijing continues to export polluting technologies like coal-fired power plants, even as such projects have become unpopular in China.
Western governments and multinationals generally steer clear of politically volatile countries. The Chinese government has been less skittish, lending heavily to nations like Venezuela, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.
But China’s lending is not usually largess. Countries that run into financial trouble must renegotiate their loans, putting them deeper into debt. Sometimes projects are left in limbo.
Ecuador spent over USD 1 billion to prepare a site for a USD 12 billion Chinese refinery that was supposed to be finished in 2013. It is stalled.
This analysis focused on projects valued at over USD 25 million that were partly or completely funded by a Chinese entity in the last 10 years. Projects that rehabilitate or expand existing infrastructure are included, in addition to new construction projects.
In addition to our own reporting, we compiled information on these projects from the following sources:
- The Construction Intelligence Center
- The Inter-American Dialogue’s China-Latin America Finance Database
- The China Africa Research Initiative at the John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies
- China’s Global Energy Finance, from the Global Economic Governance Initiative at Boston University.
- Reconnecting Asia from the Center for Strategic and International Studies
- China Global Investment Tracker from the American Enterprise Institute
- The Global Chinese Official Finance Dataset from AidData at the College of William and Mary
- International Rivers
Satellite images from Bing and Google Earth. List of One Belt One Road countries from the State Information Center in Beijing. Ocean traffic data from University College London’s Energy Institute and Kiln Digital. Road shapes from the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Additional reporting by Karoline Kan, Ailin Tang and Tiffany May from New York Times.
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