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trade and debt: how china is building an empire across new silk road - times of india

by:Merryshine     2019-11-02
Beijing: China is building a 21st century empire in which trade and debt are the protagonists, not weapons and boots on the battlefield.
If President Xi\'s ambition becomes a reality, Beijing will consolidate its position at the center of the new world economic order.
China\'s influence has far exceeded the golden age of the Tang Dynasty a thousand years ago.
Xi Jinping\'s design is most specific to the new Silk Road he first proposed in 2013.
The transformation of the enterprise into the Belt and Road Initiative, a mix of foreign policy, economic strategy and charm offensive cultivated in the torrent of Chinese funds, is rebalancing the global political and economic alliance.
Xi Jinping called this great initiative a \"road to peace \".
\"Other world powers such as Japan and the United States remain skeptical about their stated goals and are even more worried about unspoken goals, especially those that suggest military expansion.
In order to fundamentally assess the reality of the Belt and Road Initiative, Bloomberg market has deployed a team of journalists at the forefront of China\'s grand plan to five cities on three continents.
How did China make Sri Lanka cough up Hambantota? Over the past half of the time, there has been a picture of the laggard, mainly in poor countries.
In the century of global economic growth, China\'s commitment has made a leap
They hope the funded projects will help them catch up.
However, as some high
The volatility of personal data and the rising cost of their Chinese funds will-
Beneficiaries from Hanbantota, Sri Lanka to Piraeus, Greece are questioningterm price.
Malaysia is one of the biggest beneficiaries of China\'s investment in Southeast Asia, and the new prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, is supporting Malaysia.
He expressed concern that loan conditions and the use of the Chinese labor force have limited the interests of the local economy, and he has invested billions of dollars.
Railway and pipeline projects on hold.
Xi plans a centuryLong business.
After China has surpassed
The US Marshall Plan for World War II, measured in today\'s dollars.
According to Morgan Stanley\'s estimate, China and its local partners will spend as much as $1 in a decade.
3 trillion kilometers of railways, highways, ports and power grids.
\"Economic influence is a diplomatic means,\" says Nadine gerroland, Washington --
Senior fellow, political and security affairs, National Bureau of Asian Studies.
\"Not today. It\'s for mid-
China in 21 century
\"China exports debt through the Silk Road project, and the IMF chief warnsBelt and Road are also very concerned about domestic politics.
With the government and the country
Chinese state-owned enterprises invest huge amounts of money overseas, and Xi Jinping encourages Chinese companies to spend on domestic projects that directly benefit the economy, and, by the way, the popularity of his regime.
Businesses are not completely opposed to Xi, but they have adjusted their plans to suit Xi.
As of last year, as the Belt and Road Initiative was written into the Party Constitution of the Communist Party of China, Chinese companies are using the Belt and Road Initiative to help them overcome Xi Jinping\'s restrictions on foreign investment and capital outflows.
In order to get the national blessing, many people hide the overseas project under the umbrella of Xi\'s pet project.
Michael Every, head of financial market research at Rabobank Group in Hong Kong, said the \"Belt and Road\" is \"a special political sauce \". . . .
It tastes better if you pour it on anything.
\"At first, the sauce stirred up appetite in many developing countries in Asia and Africa.
With the deepening of the modern Silk Road concept, the \"Belt and Road\" has gradually become a place without any connection with the ancient caravan.
It reached South America, the Caribbean, and even the Arctic this year.
On June, the Chinese government announced the \"Belt and Road\" initiative to enter space.
Participating countries will be one of the first to access China\'s new satellites.
Navigation service.
Most of the proposed plans are infrastructure.
On the basis of new deep
The harbor of Myanmar and the power line of Maldives.
But almost all overseas investments have been labeled with the plan: a freight train transporting Chinese sunflower seeds to Tehran and a new court in Papua New Guinea,
The growing network of trade routes, including the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road initiative, has now extended to at least 76 countries, mainly developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, along with several countries on the eastern edge of Europe.
Most global trade is carried out by sea, so it is not surprising that many of the places that initially locked in China\'s major investments were ports, as well as pipelines and other transport links connecting shipping and markets.
China\'s plans to build or rebuild dozens of ports have sounded alarm bells in Washington and New Delhi, especially around the Indian Ocean: how many of these terminals will eventually accommodate Chinese warships?
Just like the powerful naval and global network of military bases helped support British and American trade empires in the 19 th and 20 th centuries, China is building a fleet of submarines, aircraft carriers, and warships that will compete with American strength.
China said it did not intend to use the Belt and Road Initiative to exert unnecessary political or military influence, only to enhance economic and cultural understanding among countries.
Xi Jinping said in 2015, \"in promoting the\" Belt and Road \"construction, we should focus on the fundamental issues of development, release the growth potential of all countries, and achieve economic integration.
\"If that\'s the case, Xi needs to change the way people think about his latter --day Silk Road.
This can only happen in towns and towns transformed by the Chinese monetary empire.
In the mountains of Zhejiang province, China, Yiwu, together with Sheridan praso Yiwu, is the embodiment of \"Made in China.
\"The market here is different from other markets.
A large complex of five people
There are 75,000 stalls selling 1 floor building.
A large area of 8 million football fields has 650 kinds of goods.
If you buy cheap jewelry and toys in Zone 1, you may need to hop on a motorcycle taxi to get to the car parts in zone 5.
Most of the thousands of stalls specialize in scissors for individual projects, such as: Scores and scores for different kinds of scissors.
An ancient market town about 180 miles southwest of Shanghai has now developed into a city with a population of one.
With a population of 2 million, the Belt and Road Initiative has brought great impetus to Yiwu.
People from Beirut to Seoul and elsewhere started their businesses.
About 13,000 businessmen from all over the world now live here.
Mohanad Ali Moh d Shalabi said that more people will arrive every day, he is a Jordanian businessman, owns Beyti Turkish restaurant in the city center and is also a company that exports goods to the Middle East
He said: \"In my restaurant, I met people from countries I have never seen before.
\"This is not always the case.
At the beginning of 2014, when Bloomberg reporters visited, the business was too slow. boring shopkeepers played computer games, read newspapers, or fell asleep in their chairs.
Zhang Jenny of Zhejiang Xingbao Umbrella Co. , Ltd.
Remember the bad past and hired about 200 workers.
In 2013 1978 left of a great of maze-like Hall in when it become Communist of, China the first a wholesale market one of the almost no one cares.
Wholesalers and producers are struggling with soaring manufacturing costs and the rise of online markets such as Alibaba.
Then there is hope.
On social media and television, Zhang began to see reports about a new freight train that would travel thousands of miles west, cross China into Central Asia and then into Europe.
This is part of the Xi government\'s \"New Orleans continental bridge\", a seemingly endless stacked container van that replicated the camel caravan of the ancient Silk Road.
\"The impact of the railway is huge,\" Zhang said . \"
\"I remember seeing pictures of the goods piled high.
After the service started, our sales and customers increased rapidly.
First Europe
On November 2014, a train to Kazakhstan and Russia drove out of here, and then passed through Eastern Europe to Madrid, 8,000-
A mile journey to replace the highway
The Siberian Railway is the longest freight railway in the world. train route.
Since then, more routes have opened to destinations including London, Amsterdam and Tehran.
Zhang\'s dream is to make her real star brand the Hermes of the umbrella.
Europe has always been her biggest market.
Since the new freight train arrived in Yiwu, she has received customers on the entire route from Kazakhstan to Russia to Iran.
Compared to ships, trains cut the time to travel to Europe by a third or more.
Items such as European wine, olive oil, vitamin tablets and whiskey will arrive on the return journey.
China Railway Express Co. , Ltd.
Said that in the first four months of 2018, Yiwu\'s value of outbound goods rose 79% from the same period last year to 1. 8 billion yuan ($268 million)
Imports have tripled to 0. 47 billion yuan.
Even so, rail freight accounts for less than 1% of China\'s total exports.
Although it can shorten travel time to Europe, it is more expensive than shipping trade, slower and more flexible than air cargo.
But for cities like Yiwu, especially Western cities farther away from the harbor, the train built by President Xi has injected new vitality into their economy.
In the Sri Lankan jungle in southern Sri Lanka, kevin masena Hettiarchchi picks green Chilean peppers grown in the shade of banana trees.
When the island was a British colony of Ceylon, his grandfather also worked on the land.
Hettiarchchi took a break from the heat under the teak tree and removed his width
He said: \"If a Jeep with Chinese characters is on the road, the whole village will gather to protest.
\"The village of Heti Achi and the surrounding town of Hambantota have become a warning for Xi\'s\" Belt and Road \"wish.
The idea is to take an average of less than one ship a month to visit an insignificant port and turn it into a modern, bustling harbor that adorns the South Belt and Road maritime route.
The result is not so good.
On 2005, after Sri Lanka elected Hambantota Centa Hinda Rajapaksa as president, he began to promote development projects in the region, which is the least
This developed region of a country of 21 million people.
Long before the Belt and Road Initiative was officially incorporated into the Chinese government\'s policy, Beijing was eager to lend a helping hand, and Chinese loans provided funds for Mr Rajapaksa\'s generosity. Hambantota (
Population of 11,200 at that time)
There is a new port, an international convention center, a cricket stadium and an airport that, despite all the staff performing, did not serve the scheduled flights.
To fund projects across Sri Lanka, the government of Rajapaksa is heavily indebted.
For example, during the management of Rajapaksa, Hambantota port was partly funded from exports --
Import Bank of China.
When Rajapaksa was voted to step down in 2015, more than 90% of Sri Lankan government revenue was spent on debt repayment.
Last year, with the full implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by Xi Jinping, the new government of Sri Lanka began to reduce debt.
In return for $1.
1 billion. It basically gave the harbor to China. Under a 99-
The government granted 70% ownership of the port to the state-owned enterprise China Merchants Group
State-owned companies that earn more than Sri Lanka\'s economy.
China Merchants has pledged to restore the port and turn it into a major regional trade center.
But some local people already have enough commitment.
\"All these big projects are wasted,\" said Sisira Kumara Wahalathanthri, a local politician who opposes the current Sri Lankan government . \".
\"There are no ships coming to the port.
There is no flight to the airport.
\"After 30 years of civil war, many Sri Lankan people are happy to see the investment, any investment.
Construction work continues in ports and surrounding industrial areas, heralding change.
Wild elephants are displaced from their normal habitat, and they often trample fences around the port.
In an ancient Buddhist temple nearby, the main monk, Beragama Wimala Buddhi Thero, said he began taking part in the protests as the lifestyle of the area was threatened.
Although his temple will be spared, the nearby farm will not let him and his fellow saffron go.
Monk without worship.
\"It is becoming a colony of China,\" he said of Hambantota . \"
In the dark hall, he recline on a wooden throne decorated with carved lions and flowers, complaining that China has plundered its own rivers in the name of progress.
\"If this pollution comes here, it doesn\'t matter if we are developed,\" he said.
\"The Chilean farmer Hettiarchchi is alert to the surveyors who are beginning to show up near him, and they will make measurements and leave their warning marks.
He said his plan was to move to the eastern part of Sri Lanka to make way for development.
All of this is happening too fast, and things that hettiarchchi may lose cannot be replaced easily or quickly.
Pointing to the tall teak above his head, 52-year-
Old said: \"A tree like this can\'t grow in my lifetime.
\"Sheridan praso Gwadar, surrounded by desert in southwest Pakistan, has a stone arch with the name Al-Noor.
Go further along a desolate road, and a black container is painted to tell you where you are: the Gwadar Creek arena. Al-
The Noor and Gwadar rivers are planned housing development projects with a focus on the \"plan \".
\"There\'s nothing here yet.
The same is true of the White Pearl City, Canadian city, Sun Silver City and other residential areas on the drawing board.
What you see is billboards, a lot of billboards, speculators, and developers going forward in the sun --
Exploded in the suburbs of an old fishing village called Gwadar.
Gwadar is a dream city made in China.
Beijing is investing money in highways, hospitals, coal and other fields.
New airports, special economic zones along Shenzhen, and critical ports.
The series of events that led the Chinese to participate here conform to the pattern of the Belt and Road Initiative: the failure of local or national efforts to expand ports;
China will save the day.
In the case of Gwadar, a reconstruction project was started in the 2000 s.
Military ruler Musharraf stepped down.
Chinese came in 2013. A deep-
The water port here will be the natural southern terminal of an important bilateral project launched that year, costing China $60 billion-
It is an important part of the Belt and Road Initiative.
To that end, Beijing is funding the largest share of Gwadar\'s $1 billion in port and infrastructure spending elsewhere.
Gwadar, which runs through the Arabian Sea from Oman, is very remote, and its electricity comes from Iran, 60 miles off the coast.
In recent years, the village has become a city of about 100,000 people.
Although it is still a huge construction site on both sides of the highway and the roads are criss-crossed, signs of change abound.
Ghulam Hussain, 40, is the owner.
Every month, he receives rice, flour, sugar and other groceries from six to eight trucks from Karachi (an eight-year-old city.
Drive an hour east.
Five years ago, there were three loads a month to meet his needs.
\"Gwadar had nothing before,\" he said . \"
\"It\'s cold.
We\'re really behind.
Our business has been booming since the Chinese came.
\"Even so, it\'s hard to imagine Gwadar as the end of a road --and-
The 3,000-mile rail trade route to eastern China.
Most of the routes will cross some of the world\'s least hospitable mountains and the most economically desolate mountains and deserts.
Andrew smore, a senior transatlantic researcher at the German Marshall Fund in Washington, USA, said it was a rail lineÂxadbased public-
\"Policy think tanks have no economic significance for the foreseeable future.
The economy of Pakistan is very different from that of western China.
\"Some say military expansion is a real driver of activity in and around Gwadar.
\"Gwadar port has shown close ties to China\'s military ambitions,\" U. S. congressman Yoho (R-Fla. )
At a hearing with the US foreign affairs commission
Relations between Pakistan in February.
Zahid Ali, who once ran a small business in Sindh province in eastern Pakistan and recharged his mobile phone, has a very different view of things.
Desperately trying to pay off 800,000 rupees ($6,300)
On the debt front, he asked a client if Pakistan had a job paying Rs 50,000 per month.
The customer replied, go to Gwadar.
That\'s what Ali did.
He started as a worker, studied steel and soon earned 55,000 rupees a month.
Now, after learning a little Chinese, he was promoted to the supervisor.
\"We got good money, so people came from far away,\" he said in a sixth-grade shift.
East Bay Highway.
\"It\'s good for Chinese people to come here.
Many people find jobs that are out of work.
\"The Chinese people who come here to work have nothing to do with the locals.
Some 150 of them live in a compound with guards and gates, and green containers have been converted into living spaces.
One of the first things that Gwadar tourists notice is that there are more soldiers on the street than the police, which is an extra precaution against terrorist threats across Pakistan.
A Pakistani military officer said security measures were tense as the Chinese did not come and he refused to be named because he had no right to talk to the news media.
He said there were checkpoints on all the roads leading to the city.
Naseem Ahmed, 25, who works for the provincial government, said it was good.
\"The safety here is very good,\" he said as he warmed up before attending a football match at the local stadium.
\"You can go out at three in the morning. m.
There is no fear in the morning.
\"At the crossroads of Mombasa, Simon aginna and Chris Kay Mombasa rode his boda (boda) or motorcycle taxi together in\" 82, 83, 84 \".
\"Where did these containers come from, there are a lot of freight containers behind them, and there are more than that.
The port of Mombasa, Kenya\'s import lifeline, is a busy port of all kinds.
The truck lined up at the dock to transport the container from the terminal to the railway. Three-wheeled tuk-
Tuks, through the hot dusty streets full of noise and garbage, are dangerously intertwined among other vehicles.
Kenya\'s largest port is also the oldest.
So in 2011, with the British colonial ruleera Mombasa-to-Nairobi narrow-
The railway has been out of repair for a long time, and Kenya has taken action on the investment market in Africa in Beijing.
It agreed to set a standard for Chinese financing
A $3 gauge railway. 8 billion. The Mombasa-
Known as the Nairobi SGR, it is the country\'s largest infrastructure project since independence from the UK in 1963.
Atanas Mena, general manager of Kenya Railway, said the project employs more than 30,000 Kenyans directly, which is run by China Road and Bridge. ;
Another 8,000 people were employed for subcontractors.
On last June, the first paid passengers took the route. Along its 293-
On a mile trip, SGR rumbled over nearly 100 bridges and viaduct, many bridges and viaduct are designed to allow lions, zebras and other wildlife to inhabit the eastern part of Tsavo and under Tsavo through the tracks.
Freight trains like aggina saw from his boda started running in January.
\"These are 84 trucks,\" he said, as the container roared past . \".
The railway will be Mombasa-
Traveling by truck from more than 8 hours, Nairobi traveled for 5 hours.
In spring, five freight trains are driving every day.
This number could eventually be increased to 12, and up to 1,700 of the 3,000 trucks currently laying the route have been removed.
Like any major infrastructure project, rail lines have their critics.
David Endi, economist and government critic, said it was not commercially feasible, while a Kenyan newspaper, Standard newspaper, accused China of \"new\" roads and bridges\"
\"Colonialism, racism and blatant discrimination \";
The Kenyan railway company later said it would investigate the allegations.
Environmental activists are trying to stop the SGR from passing through Tsavo park and taking legal action to try to block the next phase of the railway construction, but without success, the line will go through the Nairobi National Park on the edge of the capital.
With the decline of the old railway and the steady growth of the truck transportation company\'s business, now they are worried about the loss of customers.
Vanessa Evans, general manager, Vanessa ai workshop and Transportation Co. , Ltd.
He said that in the long run, the SGR may bring benefits to the Kenyan economy, but poor coordination between Mombasa and Nairobi railway terminals can lead to backup and delay of goods.
The new rail line, she said, \"almost destroyed our business because the turnaround time changed between bad and bad.
We have been in pain for the past five months.
\"The train that leaves from Nairobi railway station at 8 every morning is very punctual and is called Madaraka Express.
In Swahili, \"madaraka\" means power or responsibility;
A national festival that celebrates itself. rule.
If the old railway is a relic of Kenya\'s British colonial history, the new railway built with Beijing\'s money can be seen as a pioneer of a new imperial extension. It\'s a blue-
Suitable for Chinese coaches, make sure that female train attendees wearing Kenyan flag color uniforms stand in a beautiful straight line and board as passengers.
China has funded 90% of SGR\'s $3. 8 billion cost.
And China Communications Construction Corporation.
Will operate the first decade of railway lines.
With the building advancing houses, container terminals and warehouses, the area around the station is full of activities.
Along the route to Mombasa, sparkling steeland-
The glass station stands next to a group of small houses with rusty corrugated iron roofs and mud walls;
That contrast encourages locals to \"dream come true,\" said Mina \".
21-year-old Michael Ndungu, a student studying in Mombasa, traveling to the capital on weekends, used to take buses.
\"SGR makes my life better,\" he said . \".
\"It\'s faster and definitely safer.
\"The number of passengers has surged in Mombasa.
3 million in the first six months of this year is good for the economy.
Stephen Kazungu, 26, said: \"Business is good. year-Old taxi driver
The 22-year-old Agina said the newly laid tracks, trains and stations \"you can\'t see this infrastructure development in this country\"year-
Old boda drivers as freight trains fade away.
\"This is great.
In the spring of 2016, Samuel Gabriel Piraeus of graves.
Greece is in the vise-
Control of Europe\'s sovereign debt crisis.
Neighboring countries and creditors are pressing the government for austerity.
As a result, Greece sold control over Piraeus to China Ocean Shipping Corporation.
A state in China
Own business.
The deal carries many of the signs of China\'s largest Belt and Road Initiative.
A few years before Xi\'s signature project was announced in 2009, COSCO won part of the contract to operate the Piraeus container business and was then easily incorporated into the plan;
Its main goal is to expand trade between China and Southeast Asian countries;
There is also a host country in urgent need of investment.
But many high with China
The pricing of the \"Belt and Road\" investment in a developing country is not a remote greenfield construction project.
The port deal marks the gradual takeover of one of Europe\'s oldest and most important maritime portals.
Piraeus, which has a history of about 2,500 years as a port and shipyard in Athens, sits on the Mediterranean coast, helping Athens become a naval superpower.
From his office, ioannnis Kordatos, managing director of the Greek Welding Association, can see the container wall piled high at COSCO Group\'s original Pier II pier.
\"If COSCO magically disappears tomorrow, it will be a huge loss,\" Kordatos said . \".
\"It\'s not that they are Chinese, it\'s that they are a private company that does serious business in the region.
\"Business is serious.
The 2016 deal earned Cosco a 67% stake in the Piraeus Port Authority. 5 million ($429. 5 million).
For the first full year under PPA\'s control in China, its net income rose 69% to 11.
3 million, container terminal revenue increased by 53%.
Since Cosco\'s first intervention, Piraeus has risen to seventh in Europe.
The busiest container port;
Ten years ago, it had not yet entered the top 15 in Europe.
Piraeus itself is a bustling city.
The marina is packed with Athenians ready for a weekend cruise.
The passenger ferry stops near the town center to transport locals and tourists to the Aegean islands.
Farther west, workers repair boats at repair shops.
The most important thing is that the large gantry crane on the container.
Whether you arrive here by boat, by subway or by road these days, you will definitely encounter construction works, as bulldozers work on a new subway station and public transport connection, most areas of the city are blocked.
COSCO plans to upgrade the ferry and cruise terminal in the heart of Piraeus, adding shopping centers and new hotels.
Further down the road, COSCO\'s investment could help Greece recover.
Located in the industrial center of the Thriasio plain in western Athens.
There, a planned logistics center, connected by rail to the port, could become a staging ground for goods heading north through the Balkans.
Not everyone in Piraeus agrees with Kordatos\'s passion for COSCO\'s acquisition of PPA.
\"If I had money, I would buy it myself, not for foreigners,\" Evlampia Kavvatha said . \" He owns a shop selling shelves in the city center.
Perhaps COSCO\'s presence here is a period of desperation that requires desperate measures.
Like the rest of the country, Piraeus suffered a great depression, and since the sovereign debt crisis, the country\'s economic output has been reduced by one quarter.
Piraeus, far from the main shopping district streets, is suffering from empty shops that plague the entire Greek city.
Giorgos, secretary general of the Piraeus wharf workers union, said he was concerned about the impact of a Chinese country
Labor relations and state-owned enterprises in local communities.
\"We think it is wrong for an infrastructure like this to leave the state,\" he said . \".
\"The Chinese have their own way of doing business. [Cosco is]
A country backed by the Chinese capital is a Big Mac.
It has the characteristic of Chinese national capitalism.
\"With all concerns about the potential corrosive effects of Greece\'s economy and sovereignty, as well as concerns about Beijing\'s ulterior motives, COSCO\'s invasion of Piraeus and other investments and roads in Beijing\'s vast winding belt: china puts money where no one else can.
Senior Editor in Singapore, Marcus Bensasson Majendie.
Hamlin and Han reported the economy in Beijing.
Marlow reports the government in New Delhi.
Mangi covers the company in Karachi.
Gebre reports the news in Nairobi.
Bensasson reported on the economy of Athens.
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