Commenting on the fate of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, current affairs commentator Wang He told Chinese media Da Ji Yuan on June 17 that the Belt and Road Initiative project would eventually fail.
Wang gave three reasons to support his statement. First, China’s Belt and Road Initiative causes many problems in the countries it approaches. Second, China’s regime no longer has the potential to support that project. Third, the world is now opposing the Chinese Communist Party.
In addition, on June 16, White House National Security Adviser Sullivan said the U.S. president would launch a global infrastructure initiative to counter China’s international ambitions.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative has been criticized for serving as a platform for China’s debt-trap diplomacy. Besides, the project is also doing other bad things to the countries that received it.
South China Morning Post’s report dated June 19 shows that China has pushed the International Monetary Fund to authorize a $1.4 billion bailout for Zambia. However, the IMF told Beijing and other official creditors that a relief package must first be agreed upon.
Zambia is seeking a bailout from the IMF and is restructuring around $17.3 billion in external debts. Its largest bilateral lender is China.
This country has approved many investment projects from China’s Belt and Road Initiative, such as building projects, airports, highways, and dams, with investments from China exceeding $6 billion.
Also, Sri Lanka and Pakistan are China’s biggest investments and loans in the area; According to the English version of Da Ji Yuan, those two are key parts of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative program.
Sri Lanka is on the verge of bankruptcy, with its foreign exchange reserves have plummeted by 70% in the last two years. As a result, the country is unable to pay for essential imports.
Significantly, both Sri Lanka and Pakistan governments are seeking IMF bailout packages to survive the economic crisis.
China is said to have taken advantage of the Belt and Road Initiative to send unskilled workers from the mainland to the project’s investment recipient countries. This action of the Chinese government was opposed by the people of the countries.
According to another South China Morning Post report, in 2020, students on Sulawesi island, Indonesia, organized protests against “illegal” foreign workers stealing jobs from locals.
In Laos, many people are waiting for compensation after being displaced to make way for Belt and Road Initiative projects, such as the “megaproject” of dams on the Mekong River backed by China, as well as a new high-speed rail.
The dams that Belt and Road Initiative is implementing on the Mekong are also being opposed for allegedly contributing to drought, reducing fisheries, and affecting farmland in downstream countries.
The project has also been accused of fueling corruption in the countries it travels through. It is explained that Chinese officials often bribe local officials to win projects for the Belt and Road Initiative.