|China is teaming up with a slew of countries to build a new Silk Road — but not everyone is happy|
China is building infrastructure developments — and relationships — with a number of countries as part of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It's considered the biggest foreign spending program by any one country since the U.S.' Marshall Plan to rebuild post-World War II Europe. But which projects in this attempt to revive ancient Silk Road trading routes stand to make the most headlines in the coming months? CNBC takes a look … for more, go to https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/28/china-belt-road-partnerships.html
China’s BRI to the rescue in Europe!
KUALA LUMPUR (May 2018): China has started constructing a US$3.7 billion 217-mile high-speed rail line between the Serbian and Hungarian capitals.
The project is being undertaken under China’s multi-trillion-dollar Belt Road Initiative (BRI) because the 100-year-old railway connecting Belgrade to Budapest has fallen into disrepair.
And, China is not about to allow this to derail its BRI’s extensive rail link to connect China to Europe, the Scandinavian and Nordic states, and Southeast-Asia.
The completion of the BRI rail link is expected to trigger a mammoth growth in trade and economic activities of at least 69 cities and countries, including Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.
Here are the details from HSBC:
"China’s Eurorail Dream
12 Mar 2018
Quartz Creative on behalf of HSBC
The century old railway connecting Belgrade to Budapest has fallen into disrepair, with the 217-mile journey taking around eight hours. Seen as a potentially lucrative opportunity, China are planning to build a new $3.7 billion high-speed rail line between the Serbian and Hungarian capitals as part of the Belt and Road Initiative. The route would significantly cut down transit times between the two cities, and connect with the Chinese-owned Mediterranean port of Piraeus, on the Greek coast, to establish the BRI’s first major inroad into the Eastern Europe market.
Construction on the Serbian stretch of the railway began in November, financed by a $297.6 million loan from China’s Exim bank. The Hungarian portion has been delayed as the project goes through the public procurement procedures of the European Union, of which Hungary is a member. (Serbia is a prospective EU member, so it is not subject to the same regulations.)
Both Hungary and Serbia see China as a partner to develop infrastructure that the EU can’t – or won’t – yet finance. “For these countries the potential of getting Chinese investment in areas where the EU is not investing is very attractive,” says Angela Stanzel, Senior Policy Fellow and editor of China Analysis at the European Council of Foreign Relations. “One such area is infrastructure.” Adds Stanzel, “Serbia, in particular has huge gaps in infrastructure, and since it’s not an EU member it also has no right whatsoever to apply for such kind of funding."
In addition to the construction of the railway itself, which will potentially create local jobs and pump money into local economies, the new route will open the door to further Chinese investments, and connections to new markets.
Though EU standards may slow the project down, China has every incentive to jump through those regulatory hoops and see it through. Stanzel points out that the Belgrade to Budapest railway is the biggest project yet associated with the so-called “16 + 1” group of Central and Eastern European countries that have formed an economic alliance with China. “So if this one works,” Stanzel says, “we can expect that other projects will definitely work."
|Journalists from Pakistan,125 other countries pledge to promote BRI|
SEPTEMBER 20, 2017 BY INP
ISLAMABAD: Journalists from Pakistan and 125 other countries pledged to promote President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by strengthening communication network and mutual news exchanges at the bilateral and regional level. As many as 460 media personnel, while participating in the Media Corporation Forum expressed their solidarity with China for carrying forward the BRI. The Forum on Belt and Road hosted by China’s People’s Daily newspaper held in Dunhuang— those who addressed the forum included Chinese government, political, business, and media leaders, as well as media executives from Africa, Asia, Russia, Europe, and Mexico. Zhang Ping, Vice Chairman, Standing Committee of the 12th National People’s Congress, NPC, in his speech said the Belt and Road Initiative has since gained international acknowledgement and is now a concrete plan … for more, go to https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2017/09/20/pakistan125-other-countries-pledge-to-promote-bri/