Don’t insult the intelligence of the rest of the world! BRI’s success in SEA not dependent on Malaysia!

Where Chinese gauge tracks come together to meet Russian gauge tracks -- the place where East meets West at Khorgos Gateway in Kazakhstan.
Asia #ForeignAffairs
OCT 17, 2017 @ 06:30 PM
China's Challenges Abroad: Why The Belt & Road Initiative Will Succeed
Concurrently, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) seems to include everything that China touches and nothing at all, but this doesn’t mean that the initiative is all smoke and mirrors. It’s really happening — in the meeting rooms and conference halls of governments and state-owned enterprises around the world, on the ground in logistically strategic locations, in the nascent special economic zones of dozens of countries, it’s happening -- regardless if the U.S. Defense Secretary seems to feel that it’s little more than a pompous dictate.
Controlling physical infrastructure networks
While not sexy, ports, roads, rail lines and logistics zones make up the circulatory system of the world. They are the arteries that goods and people flow through from one point to another, and laying a claim in this area is the first stage of the BRI … for more, go to 

Don’t insult the intelligence of the rest of the world! BRI’s success in SEA not dependent on Malaysia!

KUALA LUMPUR (June 2018): The AFP report titled Malaysia power shift hits China infrastructure drive is a classic example of a pro-US news report that is spun without common sense, just to stir shit and aimed at demonising or sabotaging China’s multi-trillion-dollar Belt Road Initiative (BRI).

Well, I Love Malaysia-China Silk Road finds it “extremely informative” (sarcasm intended) that Malaysia is so influential and critical to BRI’s success in South East Asia (SEA)! (again sarcasm intended)

The rest of the world, namely the leaders of the 69 cities and countries who had inked with China to develop and promote BRI, must be hugely moronic to think that China’s BRI cannot succeed without Malaysia!

Malaysia is just a “drop in the ocean” in BRI, and China had given Malaysia the opportunity to become BRI’s rail hub for Southeast Asia (serving Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and, perhaps, even Thailand) to be linked to Asia, Europe, the Scandinavian and Nordic cities and countries.

However, China can easily or effortlessly drop Malaysia and use either Singapore or Thailand as the BRI’s SEA trading hub.

Read these for context: (Has Singapore 'sabotaged' or 'hijacked' Malaysia’s ECRL-BRI rail-link hub?) (What a load of garbage and bias opinion on BRI's ECRL!)

So, AFP, don’t insult the intelligence of the rest of the world:

This is the “not so intelligent” piece by AFP:

"Malaysia power shift hits China infrastructure drive

Sunday, 17 Jun 2018
1:52 PM MYT

This file photo taken on May 24, 2018 shows Malaysia's former prime minister Najib speaking to the media after being questioned at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) office in Putrajaya. Malaysia had been a loyal partner in China's globe-spanning infrastructure drive but a new government is now pledging to review Beijing-backed projects, threatening key links in the much-vaunted initiative. - AFP

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia was once a loyal partner in China’s globe-spanning infrastructure drive but a new government is now pledging to review Beijing-backed projects, threatening key links in the much-vaunted initiative.

Kuala Lumpur’s previous administration, led by scandal-mired Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, had warm ties with China and signed a string of deals for Beijing-funded projects, including a major rail link and a deep-sea port.

But the long-ruling coalition was unexpectedly turfed out of power last month over allegations of corruption and angered at rising living costs.

Critics say many agreements lacked transparency, fuelling suspicions they were struck in exchange for help in paying off debts from a financial scandal which ultimately helped bring down Najib’s regime.

The new government, led by political heavyweight Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, has pledged to review Chinese deals seen as dubious, calling into question Malaysia’s status as one of Beijing’s most cooperative partners in its infrastructure push.

China’s ambitious initiative to revive ancient Silk Road trading routes with a global network of ports, roads and railways - dubbed “One Belt, One Road” - was launched in 2013 and is the economic crown jewel of President Xi Jinping’s presidency.

Malaysia, along with Beijing ally Cambodia, were seen as bright spots in South-East Asia, with projects in other countries often facing problems, from land acquisition to drawn-out negotiations with governments.

”Malaysia under Najib moved quickly to approve and implement projects,” Murray Hiebert, a senior associate from think-tank the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told AFP.

Chinese foreign direct investment into Malaysia stood at just 0.8 percent of total net FDI inflows in 2008, but that figure had risen to 14.4 percent by 2016, according to a study from Singapore’s ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.

However, Hiebert said it was “widely assumed” that Malaysia was striking quick deals with China in the hope of getting help to cover debts from sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.

Najib and his cronies were accused of stealing huge sums of public money from the investment vehicle in a massive fraud. Public disgust at the allegations - denied by Najib and 1MDB - helped topple his government.

Beijing’s plans derailed?

Malaysia’s first change of government in six decades has left Najib facing a potential jail term - and appears to have already unsettled Beijing’s plans in the country.

New Prime Minister Dr Mahathir has announced a planned high-speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and neighbouring Singapore will not go ahead as he seeks to reduce the country’s huge national debt.

The project was in its early stages and had not yet received any Chinese funding as part of “One Belt, One Road”.

But Chinese companies were favoured to build part of the line, which would have constituted a link in a high-speed route from China’s Yunnan province to trading hub Singapore, along which Chinese goods could have been transported for export.

Work has already started in Malaysia on another line seen as part of that route, and which had received Chinese funding -- the US$14bil East Coast Rail Link, running from close to the Thai border to a port near Kuala Lumpur.

Dr Mahathir has said that agreement is now being renegotiated.

Other Chinese-funded initiatives include a deep-sea port in Malacca, near important shipping routes, and an enormous industrial park.

It is not clear yet which projects will be changed or cancelled but experts believe axing some will be positive.

Alex Holmes, Asia economist for Capital Economics, backed cancelling some initiatives, citing “Malaysia’s weak fiscal position and that some of the projects are of dubious economic value.”

The Chinese foreign ministry did not respond to request for comment.

But a recent commentary in China’s Global Times, a nationalist state-run tabloid, warned Dr Mahathir if he damaged the interests of Chinese companies, they had the right to seek compensation.

”The Chinese government will also take concrete measures to safeguard the interests and rights of Chinese enterprises,” it said.

Adding to China’s woes, Dr Mahathir has a clear preference for Beijing’s rival Japan, and last week went to Tokyo for his first foreign trip since taking office.

During the visit, the 92-year-old signalled ties with Beijing would cool: “We will be friendly with China, but we do not want to be indebted to China.” - AFP/The Star Online
Image Credit: ASEAN Secretarat
The Belt and Road Initiative and China's Southeast Asia Diplomacy
Ranking China’s potential BRI partners in Southeast Asia.
By Xue Li and Li Yongke
November 28, 2017
With the launch of the “Belt and Road Initiative,” neighborhood diplomacy has become a priority for China. China has many neighboring countries, but from the perspective of the “Belt and Road Initiative,” Southeast Asia has a place of prominence. It is the preferred region for the construction of the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road,” as both proposed routes of the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road” will go through this area. At the same time, the China-Indochina Corridor for International Economic Cooperation is one of the six major corridors to be constructed under the “Silk Road Economic Belt.”
So what kind of diplomacy should China adopt in the Southeast Asian region? China will need to tailor its approach based on each individual country in Southeast Asia … for more, go to