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China's Belt and Road plans losing momentum as opposition, debt mount -study

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China's Belt and Road plans losing momentum as opposition, debt mount -study

September 29, 20216:40 AM MDT Last Updated 16 hours ago

By David Stanway
3 minute read

Visitors walk past a wall with a map showing the species of peony in Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) countries, at horticultural exhibition Beijing Expo 2019, in Beijing, China April 29, 2019. Picture taken April 29, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer


   Summary

   China's Belt and Road Initiative facing some backlash
   Some projects cancelled amid graft, overcharging, debt worries
   China says BRI embraces consultations, shared benefits
   US has launched rival infrastructure plan for poorer nations


SHANGHAI, Sept 29 (Reuters) - China's vast Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is in danger of losing momentum as opposition in targeted countries rises and debts mount, paving the way for rival schemes to squeeze Beijing out, a new study showed on Wednesday.

President Xi Jinping launched BRI in 2013, aiming to harness China's strengths in financing and infrastructure construction to "build a broad community of shared interests" throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America.

But Xi's "project of the century" is now facing major challenges and significant backlashes abroad, according to a study by AidData, a research lab at the College of William and Mary in the United States.

"A growing number of policymakers in low- and middle-income countries are mothballing high profile BRI projects because of overpricing, corruption and debt sustainability concerns," said Brad Parks, one of the study's authors.

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