China's Belt and Road hits bumps in Nepal, Malaysia, and Myanmar
The course of the Belt and Road, Chinaâs âproject of the century,â is not running smooth. Todayâs problems include:
- Nepalâs finance minister said his countryâs deal with a state-owned Chinese firm to build a massive dam with a price tag of $1.8 billion âwould be cancelled and Nepal would fund the project itself,â according to the South China Morning Post, which calls the move âthe latest blowâ to the Belt and Road.
- Malaysiaâs finance minister today âannounced plans to report to the anti-graft agency upfront payments of billions of ringgit the previous administration made to a Chinese firm for two pipeline projects that have barely begun,â reports the SCMP.
- Mahathir Mohamad, prime minister of Malaysia from 1981 to 2003 and reelected earlier this month, is likely to scrutinize Chinese pro jects more closely than his predecessor: âMahathir sees China as increasingly more of a geopolitical threat than an economic opportunity,â according to Manila-based scholar Richard Javad Heydarian in an essay titled What Mahathirâs return means for China and the region.
- In Myanmar, a planned $10 billion deep-water port to be built by China at Kyaukpyu was announced in 2007. Asia Times says that Myanmar âbecame sensitive about being indebted to China,â and that recent reports âsuggest that the project is now under government review.â