News

Countries Have $385 Billion In ‘Hidden Debts’ To China, Study Finds

A new study found under-reported debts of at least $385 billion owed by different countries to China in the past two decades, and that one-third of projects under the Belt and Road Initiative have run into major implementation problems. The hidden debts, which slipped through the ...

Reported by BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated online news service.

US, China dueling for power on the Mekong

When China announced in early August a new US$6 million for new development projects in Myanmar, the sum was trifling in Beijing’s wider $1 trillion global Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). China’s Foreign Ministry said the funds will be used for animal vaccine projects, agricultural development, ...

BERTIL LINTNER

Left With Fish Too Small to Sell in Cambodia’s Mekong River Basin

Thousands have lost their homes and livelihoods since the completion of one of Asia’s widest dams, the Lower Sesan 2, in Cambodia’s Mekong River Basin. Built as part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the dam, which spans well over six kilometers, has cut off vital migration ...

Birgit Schwarz and John Sifton

New Chinese power deal sees Laos risk its future for quick gains

In early September, the Lao government signed a deal to give majority control of its electric grid over to a Chinese state-owned company amid mounting public debt as Beijing continues to expand its role in the country. State-owned China Southern Power Grid Company signed a deal with the ...

How China is choking the Mekong

The former chief of Pak Chim, a tiny village on a tributary of the Mekong River, remembers clearly the moment he knew his hamlet would be no more. It was a decade ago. A few hundred residents of Pak Chim and nearby villages along the snaking ...

Shibani Mahtani

The Costs of China’s Belt and Road Expansion

When I returned to Xigang after five years, I couldn’t recognize it. What had been a small but generally well-maintained beach town had become a sprawling mess of a city; construction, mud, and piles of garbage were seemingly everywhere. The Han Chinese with whom I ...

Chris Horton

China builds in Myanmar’s conflict areas

A year ago, Myanmar and China signed an agreement to establish the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC), as part of China’s Belt and Road global infrastructure initiative. Today, that corridor is mired in conflict between the Myanmar military and ethnic armed groups. Stretching 1,700 kilometres, the CMEC’s ...

Nicholas Lo

Thai Belt and Road project bumps into finance and liability issues

Thailand’s government is delaying China’s ambitious high-speed railway project in the country as questions over financing and liabilities of the $9.9 billion infrastructure initiative remain unresolved. Sources within Thailand’s transport sector confirmed to the Nikkei Asian Review that behind-the-scenes negotiations between Bangkok and Beijing over the ...

Marwaan Macan-Markar

China’s hegemonic choice in the Mekong region

If you are the world’s second-largest power, what do you dream about? How do you go about making this dream come true? Put bluntly, the Mekong River region represents a crucial testing ground for Beijing’s mid- to long-term ambitions — not acknowledged officially — to become ...

Sebastian Biba

As local residents question Belt and Road impacts, China and Myanmar remain silent

Chinese investment in projects for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is changing the homes, economies, and environments of people across Myanmar, often in conflict zones. In some cases, those affected by the projects are calling for the government to stop or alter Chinese-backed projects ...

Skylar Lindsay

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