Douglas Buckland

The Belt & Road Initiative: A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing?

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The Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) is roughly defined (per Wikipedia) as "... a global development strategy adopted by the Chinese government involving infrastructure development and investments in 152 countries and international organizations in Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas". 

Some feel that it is nothing more than a method for the Chinese government to enslave other nations through the strategy of economic imperialism. In a nutshell, Chinese companies, backed by the Chinese government, agree to undertake infrastructure projects in foreign countries, who happen to have something that China desires. These countries have no realistic way to pay for these projects and China then 'colonizes' that country to supposedly service the debt to them.

Years ago, the Chinese offered to 'invest' in Angola, but would take payment in the form of oil. The interesting thing is that the hotels, bridges, roads and railways were built with Chinese imported labor. Obviously this did not do much for the local economy and did not endear the Chinese to the common Angolan. Furthermore, a third party inspection revealed that the quality of these construction projects, carried out by Chinese firms and Chinese workers, was of such inferior quality that the 'life expectancy' of these projects was put at 5 years.

A similar situation arose in the Sudan when Western oil companies left Sudan due to human rights issues and the Chinese oil companies moved in. More recently, after recent elections in Malaysia, the new government cancelled several BRI projects, but later reneged once the cost of the projects was reduced.

There is also the issue of outright bribery. See the links below.

My question to you, the reader, is, 'How to you percieve the Belt & Road Initiative?' Is it a serious effort by the Chinese to open the world to globalization or is it simply an effort to enhance the Chinese economy and global position at the expense of other, less affluent, countries?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lwF5YL22m4

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/05/business/cefc-china-patrick-ho.html

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The second one.

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1 hour ago, Douglas Buckland said:

My question to you, the reader, is, 'How to you percieve the Belt & Road Initiative?' Is it a serious effort by the Chinese to open the world to globalization or is it simply an effort to enhance the Chinese economy and global position at the expense of other, less affluent, countries?

Actually Douglas it is partly the first and partly the second answer to Your question.

But you probably do not want binary answer 0-1 to such a complex subject

BRI is Chinese project and it was designed to serve Chinese interests.

It is a geopolitical project aimed at decreasing relative strength and power of the United States vs China,

mainly through clustering the countries around China by tying them through economic projects, mainly

in the area of physical infrastructure.

Developing countries desperately need infrastructure but have no money & expertise to build it.

China is very good at building massive infrastructure, fast&cheap.

Currently for most developing countries it is the best game in town, that is why so many want to take part.

China is not building this roads&railways because Xi Winne the Pooh is so nice,

but because it strategically pays off.

The problem for the United States is that it can't make competitive offer as it no longer

can built infrastructure (oversimplification, I mean fast,cheap&reliable).

Don't get me wrong but if you are American you can only parrot Donald Trump&Mike Pence telling

everybody, everywhere, all the time about debt traps etc., that is all US can do. And it is patriotic to do it,

because US has no tangible contra offer to make.

I would like to hear, ok US will also built the road or port or railway or hospital or help this poor guys cultivate corn etc.

Even at serious conferences around the world, American scholars and analysts

just say that it is bad repeating the same slogans: Hanbantota port, concentration camps in Xinjiang, debt traps.

It is very shallow intellectually, and everyone else in the room are just rolling their eyes.

And I mean conferences in Zurich or Frankfurt not Beijing or Moscow.

German business wants to have their cut in BRI, the same with majority of European countries.

In summary BRI is a serious project to enhance Chinese economy  & global position and if it helps some countries

during its conduct it is ok, but this is a secondary objective.

 

 

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Regardless if the US has a counter for BRI or not, if the ‘receipient’ country can not pay for the ‘infrastructure’ provided by the Chinese, is this ‘economic imperialism’? Say like we are seeing in Venezuela at the moment.

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59 minutes ago, Douglas Buckland said:

Regardless if the US has a counter for BRI or not, if the ‘receipient’ country can not pay for the ‘infrastructure’ provided by the Chinese, is this ‘economic imperialism’? Say like we are seeing in Venezuela at the moment.

You allege much. Have you any proof to offer? Which nation has been enslaved by China via the BRI?  Which cannot pay?  

Readers may wish to note a major difference between the Chinese and American approaches.  Lest we forget, the USA has invaded, destroyed, and occupied in recent years Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, the list goes long into the past. Can anyone name one country invaded by China since it manged to defeat all occupying powers by 1949?  In case anyone questions the enslavement issue, please read this link: https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201708251056794770-afghanistan-cia-heroin-ratline/   

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(edited)

48 minutes ago, 4cryingoutloud said:

You allege much. Have you any proof to offer? Which nation has been enslaved by China via the BRI?  Which cannot pay?  

Readers may wish to note a major difference between the Chinese and American approaches.  Lest we forget, the USA has invaded, destroyed, and occupied in recent years Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, the list goes long into the past. Can anyone name one country invaded by China since it manged to defeat all occupying powers by 1949?  In case anyone questions the enslavement issue, please read this link: https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201708251056794770-afghanistan-cia-heroin-ratline/   

You obviously do not understand a hypothetical question preceeded by the word ‘if’.

That being the case, it will be difficult for you to add constructively to this debate.

Edited by Douglas Buckland
Inaccurate statement
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45 minutes ago, Douglas Buckland said:

Regardless if the US has a counter for BRI or not, if the ‘receipient’ country can not pay for the ‘infrastructure’ provided by the Chinese, is this ‘economic imperialism’? Say like we are seeing in Venezuela at the moment.

 

BRI is mainly geopolitical project so making money is secondary objective.

In majority of cases recipient will not be able to pay for the infrastructure as no commercial bank would finance it.

China provides cheap loans, sometimes third country like Saudi Arabia in Pakistan is co-financing or sometimes like

with this bridge in Maldives it is just a gift. The most important for the recipient is that physical infrastructure

serves the economic prosperity of the country.

If think economic imperialism starts when China takes over the infrastructure.

As long the recipient country can control its roads, ports and railroads I think it is ok.

(Think about isthmus in Central America that was invaded by US from Columbia and named Panama.

Panama Canal was built and exteritorially operated by United States, this was economic imperialism

Or this Cuban Guantanamo Bay occupied by United States, this is economic imperialism)

China took over infrastructure in return for debt in only 1 project  in Sri Lanca, Hanbantota port.

in my opinion It was a mistake because it is a source of bad publicity for China for years.

 

Sometimes the biggest Prize for providing infrastructure is simply that because the country is dependent on China

there would be no US military bases. Like in Central Asia former Soviet Republics.

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Is there some reason why respondents are targeting the US in their replies?

The US was not mentioned in my original post, nor does the US have any bearing on the original question put forward.

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14 minutes ago, Douglas Buckland said:

Is there some reason why respondents are targeting the US in their replies?

The US was not mentioned in my original post, nor does the US have any bearing on the original question put forward.

The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit charitable organization based in St. Petersburg, Florida, USA, and organized under the laws of the state of Florida. It operates several online collaborative projects including Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Wikibooks (including Wikijunior), Wikisource, Wikimedia Commons, Wikispecies, Wikinews, Wikiversity, and Meta-Wiki.  Its existence was officially announced by Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, who was running Wikipedia within his company Bomis, on June 20, 2003. Its approval by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, by letter in April 2005, as an educational foundation in the category "Adult, Continuing Education" means all contributions to the Wikimedia Foundation are tax deductible for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

Given Wiki's origins and its disrepute concerning biased editing, and the united surveillance state of america, and the corporate censorship by the likes of Facebook, Twitter, etc, the connection to the US is rather strong.  Additionally, the article you quoted from wikipedia insinuates much: the presentation is focused upon negatives, not positives, and thus is highly biased, which all contributes to the conclusion it is authored by someone(s) opposed to the BRI. And who could be so opposed? 

The BRI is intended to bring benefits to all parties. The claim the BRI has brought hardships is entirely unproven and thus false. In fact, the BRI has already brought benefits to those countries who joined. example: China built an entire port in Pakistan, with extensive infrastructures for power and roads and trains, which Pakistan would never have been able to finance or build by itself and can be used for further economic development. 

The comparison to US "aid" is valid.  I have highlighted how American aid is manifested.  The choice for any country considering the BRI is this:  do we do nothing and continue to be 3rd world for indeterminate time?;  do we accept American "aid" and become occupied and indebted for indeterminate time?; do we accept the new kid on the block, who offers infrastructure and cash inflow from the projects we could never build or finance ourselves, with no occupation?  The choice seems to be a rather clear one.

 

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6 minutes ago, 4cryingoutloud said:

The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit charitable organization based in St. Petersburg, Florida, USA, and organized under the laws of the state of Florida. It operates several online collaborative projects including Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Wikibooks (including Wikijunior), Wikisource, Wikimedia Commons, Wikispecies, Wikinews, Wikiversity, and Meta-Wiki.  Its existence was officially announced by Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, who was running Wikipedia within his company Bomis, on June 20, 2003. Its approval by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, by letter in April 2005, as an educational foundation in the category "Adult, Continuing Education" means all contributions to the Wikimedia Foundation are tax deductible for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

Given Wiki's origins and its disrepute concerning biased editing, and the united surveillance state of america, and the corporate censorship by the likes of Facebook, Twitter, etc, the connection to the US is rather strong.  Additionally, the article you quoted from wikipedia insinuates much: the presentation is focused upon negatives, not positives, and thus is highly biased, which all contributes to the conclusion it is authored by someone(s) opposed to the BRI. And who could be so opposed? 

The BRI is intended to bring benefits to all parties. The claim the BRI has brought hardships is entirely unproven and thus false. In fact, the BRI has already brought benefits to those countries who joined. example: China built an entire port in Pakistan, with extensive infrastructures for power and roads and trains, which Pakistan would never have been able to finance or build by itself and can be used for further economic development. 

The comparison to US "aid" is valid.  I have highlighted how American aid is manifested.  The choice for any country considering the BRI is this:  do we do nothing and continue to be 3rd world for indeterminate time?;  do we accept American "aid" and become occupied and indebted for indeterminate time?; do we accept the new kid on the block, who offers infrastructure and cash inflow from the projects we could never build or finance ourselves, with no occupation?  The choice seems to be a rather clear one.

 

Again, you seem to feel the need to bring America into the debate each and ever time you post. The original question never asked for or required any comparison with the US, it simply asked a question concerning the readers opinion on BRI!

You obviously vehemently dislike America. I am sure you have your reasons, but your like or dislike of America has no place in this discussion! Could you please stay on topic? 

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1 hour ago, Douglas Buckland said:

Is there some reason why respondents are targeting the US in their replies?

Those are not respondents.  Those are trolls.  Pointless to engage. 

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(edited)

3 minutes ago, Douglas Buckland said:

You obviously vehemently dislike America. I am sure you have your reasons, but your like or dislike of America has no place in this discussion! Could you please stay on topic? 

You already know that is not going to happen.  Not with those guys. 

Edited by Jan van Eck
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I present facts. YOU posted the quote. Your source is American, and you question why anyone would highlight or question the bias of this. You question why any country should join the BRI, and I have stated reasons with example. Yet you assert this is off topic. Rather than bring facts to refute, you instead turn to personal attack.  If you are not prepared to read valid opinions contrary to your own, perhaps you should troll elsewhere. 

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3 hours ago, 4cryingoutloud said:

Lest we forget, the USA has invaded, destroyed, and occupied in recent years Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, the list goes long into the past.

And there it is.

Very 'on topic'.

Zzzz.

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11 hours ago, Douglas Buckland said:

The Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) is roughly defined (per Wikipedia) as "... a global development strategy adopted by the Chinese government involving infrastructure development and investments in 152 countries and international organizations in Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas". 

Some feel that it is nothing more than a method for the Chinese government to enslave other nations through the strategy of economic imperialism. In a nutshell, Chinese companies, backed by the Chinese government, agree to undertake infrastructure projects in foreign countries, who happen to have something that China desires. These countries have no realistic way to pay for these projects and China then 'colonizes' that country to supposedly service the debt to them.

Years ago, the Chinese offered to 'invest' in Angola, but would take payment in the form of oil. The interesting thing is that the hotels, bridges, roads and railways were built with Chinese imported labor. Obviously this did not do much for the local economy and did not endear the Chinese to the common Angolan. Furthermore, a third party inspection revealed that the quality of these construction projects, carried out by Chinese firms and Chinese workers, was of such inferior quality that the 'life expectancy' of these projects was put at 5 years.

A similar situation arose in the Sudan when Western oil companies left Sudan due to human rights issues and the Chinese oil companies moved in. More recently, after recent elections in Malaysia, the new government cancelled several BRI projects, but later reneged once the cost of the projects was reduced.

There is also the issue of outright bribery. See the links below.

My question to you, the reader, is, 'How to you percieve the Belt & Road Initiative?' Is it a serious effort by the Chinese to open the world to globalization or is it simply an effort to enhance the Chinese economy and global position at the expense of other, less affluent, countries?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lwF5YL22m4

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/05/business/cefc-china-patrick-ho.html

Colonialism by China, which is designed to help China and could eventually enslave the population of those countries as in Cuba and Venezuela.

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(edited)

7 hours ago, 4cryingoutloud said:

You allege much. Have you any proof to offer? Which nation has been enslaved by China via the BRI?  Which cannot pay?  

Readers may wish to note a major difference between the Chinese and American approaches.  Lest we forget, the USA has invaded, destroyed, and occupied in recent years Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, the list goes long into the past. Can anyone name one country invaded by China since it manged to defeat all occupying powers by 1949?  In case anyone questions the enslavement issue, please read this link: https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201708251056794770-afghanistan-cia-heroin-ratline/   

Having forces in a country is not the same as occupying them. We have not done anything like Russia has done in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. They invaded and annexed land that rightfully belongs to Ukraine. 

China forcefully occupied Tibet and has brutally continued to occupy it. They merely stated that it was part of China, which was a lie.

 Tibet is Burning – China’s Illegal Occupation of Tibet

https://www.topsecretwriters.com/2012/09/tibet-is-burning-chinas-illegal-occupation-of-tibet/

 

 

Edited by ronwagn
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6 hours ago, Douglas Buckland said:

Is there some reason why respondents are targeting the US in their replies?

The US was not mentioned in my original post, nor does the US have any bearing on the original question put forward.

I can speak only for myself. BRI is a Chinese project aimed against United States so to stay on topic I need to mention US.

I had to decribe the idea itself and opinions about Belt and Road

around the world so that you and other persons at this thread can understand that BOTH

American opinions and Chinese opinions about BRI are very polarized.

Belt and Road is not the devil nor angel project, it serves Chinese imperialism

but it also serves developing countries. And developed European countries

like Germany, Switzerland do not share

US hate or Chinese love for BRI, they just want to make money.

Honesty means to present all opinions across the spectrum.

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What more I used coherent arguments to explain why Belt and Road

is so dangerous for the United States (US has no tangible answer).

 

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(edited)

8 minutes ago, Marcin said:

What more I used coherent arguments to explain why Belt and Road

is so dangerous for the United States           (US has no tangible answer).

 

And there it is... 

And you are proving Doug's point with every word as his question and the thread title have nothing to do with USA. Yet people insist on these comparisons.     

 @Jan van Eck was correct. Trollville.

Pointless. I have no time for further nonsense. Goodbye. 

You don't even seem to bother with the sheep's clothing.

Edited by DayTrader

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(edited)

1. It's not as if US or Western companies are investing heavily in Africa or WhateverStan.  So if you're suspicious of Chinese motives, what are the alternatives? Who else has the guts to build power plants in OokiOokistan, or Africa? 

2.  The only thing that counts are economic results.  Did this new power plant or road improve the economic opportunities of the people in the area? If so, then it's great.  

3.  Complain about "exploitation" all you want.  But I would rather be exploited and have indoor plumbing and working electricity then the alternative (unexploited but I shit into a ditch).  

4.  Again, who else is building infrastructure in these areas? Until the US or the West presents an alternative, these countries have no option but to turn to China.  

With regards to Africa, South America, and Central Asia the US is all talk and no action. 

Edited by Zhong Lu

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25 minutes ago, Zhong Lu said:

3.  Complain about "exploitation" all you want.  But I would rather be exploited and have indoor plumbing and working electricity then the alternative (unexploited but I shit into a ditch).  

 But YOU don't live there so what You would "rather" have is utterly meaningless and irrelevant.  And as to your comment you recite as your paragraph four:

27 minutes ago, Zhong Lu said:

4.  Again, who else is building infrastructure in these areas? Until the US or the West presents an alternative, these countries have no option but to turn to China.  

Wrong again, "they" have lots of options.  One is to leave things alone and let them organically develop.  Second is to contract with (in the case of Africa) with an established construction company is say South Africa  or Senegal (unless you are going to contend that those diamond mines and railroads were all constructed by the Chinese a century ago).  There is ZERO need to turn to China, and when China comes calling, all they really want is to expand their own construction base and gain direct control over resources, to be shipped as commodity freight to China for use in their own industries.  And the Chinese don't care if you have a latrine hut or indoor plumbing, not interesting to them.  Lots of Chinese have no indoor plumbing, either.  

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(edited)

Your perception of China is 20 years too old.  All Chinese have indoor plumbing at this point, and even if you're homeless the area you're in will have indoor plumbing.  EDIT: When's the last time you've visited China proper? 

"Develop organically" how? In the period between 1960-1990, did Africa make any economic gains? 

Also, isn't it a little hypocritical and odd for whites to complain about exploitation of African labour? 

Edited by Zhong Lu

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(edited)

@Douglas Buckland asked - My question to you, the reader, is, 'How to you percieve the Belt & Road Initiative?' Is it a serious effort by the Chinese to open the world to globalization or is it simply an effort to enhance the Chinese economy and global position at the expense of other, less affluent, countries?

Time to bring out the weapon again. if you haven't watched this watch it, skip the first 12.3 Mins unless your Japanese or speak it.

Mr Bannon lays it out for you....

https://youtu.be/P2wdwZxk17o

Most of you won't watch it those that do will be impressed, even if you don't agree with him.

To me personally this answers Dougs question...

Edited by James Regan
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(edited)

"Hillary Clinton is a representation of those elites" (from video).

Fair enough.  But so is Donald Trump.  And the people Bannon are talking to are all dressed in suits, too.  So this elite bashing is a little bit odd.  

Edited by Zhong Lu

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Weird, I saw this a few nights ago

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