Why doubts about China’s Belt and Road Initiative persist among its neighbours



Josephine Ma, Lee Jeong-ho, and Sarah Zheng | South China Morning Post

  • Beijing’s global infrastructure drive will be in the spotlight this week when dozens of heads of state converge for the second Belt and Road Forum.
  • In the third of a four-part series, Josephine Ma, Lee Jeong-ho and Sarah Zheng look barriers to the programme, from debt-trap fears to geopolitical rivalries

Along the banks of Nepal’s Budhigandaki River – the proposed site of a major dam – the only sign of activity on the mountainous slopes is a small office building.

So far, though, its only use has been for villagers to register for compensation for any land they might lose to the Chinese-led project.

More than six months after the government in Kathmandu recommitted to its contract with China Gezhouba Group Construction (CGGC), work on the proposed 1,200 megawatt project has stalled.

Although the newly elected government reversed the previous administration’s decision to scrap the US$2.5 billion deal back in late September, the company says it has yet to sign an official contract to start construction.

[Read more here.]