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China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

The Belt and Road Forum [BRF], a gala event that marks the 10-year anniversary of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), is currently taking place. about 145 countries have taken part in China’s Belt and Road initiative but not too many top leaders showed up for this third edition of The Forum despite it being a landmark for the BRI it has hit the 10-year mark i.e. 10 years of China Investing in other countries or rather 10 years of China making them rack up their debt

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – SRI LANKA & PAK CRAWLING BACK TO CHINA?

China in general and the Belt and Road Initiative in particular is known as a debt trap country after country has been left at the mercy of Beijing’s Bankers

Some nations have managed to keep their heads above water and some like Sri Lanka have had a full-blown Financial meltdown. In fact, Sri Lanka’s situation is the perfect case study it built expensive projects it did not need, with money it did not have. The Hambantota port or the Lotus Tower in Colombo, Sri Lanka are perfect examples of White elephants – very pretty to look at but essentially nothing special. what’s worse they’re extremely expensive to maintain, so more a curse than a gift which is why they’re called white elephants and that’s the Belt and Road initiative in a nutshell for you.BELT & ROAD INITIATIVE

Beijing touts it as the world’s most ambitious trade project but the debt it generates has brought many a government to its knees now all of this is well known and yet absurdly the bent and broken Nations do not seem to care look at Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan President, Ranil Wickremasinghe – “In particular the covid 19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the economy of every country at the same time we also face the challenges brought by climate change and it is a must- develop a green economy there is also the debt pressure on low and middle- income countries such as Sri Lanka which is undergoing a debt crisis. many other countries have debt problems too in the face of new difficulties and major Global challenges we hope to find solutions by participating in international cooperation under the belt on road initiative’’

BELT & ROAD INITIATIVE

that’s what Sri Lankan president Ranil said a few days ago he blamed the pandemic and climate change but he was all Praises for the bri insisting that it had brought benefits

Sri Lankan President Ranil -“the Belt on Road initiative proposed by China has sparked discussions for example the Hambantota International Port project in Sri Lanka has provoked criticism however we are very satisfied with the current cooperation and we will continue to advance relevant projects.”

 

why the effusive praise could it have something to do with this just days before the Forum China agreed to restructure Sri Lanka’s debt Beijing is Colombo’s biggest creditor it held out on restructuring for months after Sri Lanka’s meltdown and finally it agreed only in time for this forum restructuring $4.2 billion is a lot probably enough to have a gracious government sing your Praises at a critical time and then there is Pakistan. China’s iron brother made Rusty and brittle because of its mountain of debt but Pakistan’s interim government also had nothing but good things to say about the bri

BELT & ROAD INITIATIVE

Pakistan Interim PM, Anwar-Ul-Haq Kakar – “We are amongst the first supporters of BRI, by launching its Flagship project of China Pakistan Economic Corridor in 2013 I feel happy to share that in Pakistan we have completed nearly 50 projects worth $25 billion US under CPAC.”

BELT & ROAD INITIATIVE

he said 50 projects worth $25 billion had been completed this is over the last 10 years and look at the result. Pakistan has about 124 billion dollars worth of external debt. its biggest creditor is of course China. Islamabad spent about $20.8 billion servicing its debt in the last Financial year almost 21 billion dollars of debt. 4.4 billion was just Interest. now just avoiding their interest payments would have made Pakistan 25 billion richer in about 5 years. it’s not that simple but the question remains why would you keep going back to your loan Shark?

BELT & ROAD INITIATIVE

Pakistan Interim PM, Anwar-Ul-Haq Kakar – “Excellency I would take this opportunity to congratulate you on the resounding success of the BRF testifying to validity of your vision of the Belt and Road Initiative. your speech yesterday at the opening ceremony was profound deep vision and it offered a lot of opportunity for the countries like Pakistan. so it is the moment for Pakistan to come and seize it and we will take that message back home of your inspiration and your leadership. we were the first and foremost to be trusted and we are the one who trust you utmost.”

they’re all smiles but it’s a vicious cycle Pakistan needs new loans to pay off its old ones China is one of the only Nations willing to lend more money to Pakistan at worst rates of course so the Pakistani officials will go to Beijing to bend the knee they will agree to China’s every demand like the latest one where Beijing insists on security for its citizens the Chinese citizens working on the bri Beijing wants assurances of their safety Islamabad has said it will spare no effort to ensure that which of course it should but more than that Pakistan also needs to get out of this crippling partnership because sooner or later the chickens will come home to roost.

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