Bangladesh will reduce the cost of Chinese-funded BRI railway projects.Beijing withdraws funds

China withdrew its BRI (Belt and Road Initiative) funding for Bangladesh’s rail projects after recipients proposed significant cost savings. This happened as tensions between the two countries increased.

According to media reports, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government has discovered that Chinese companies are charging three times the normal price for construction, and Chinese-funded Akhaura-Sylhet and Joydebpur-, which are part of the BRI. Saved $ 5.72 billion from the Ishwardi Rail Project. Signed an agreement between the two countries.

The main terms of the contract with China require that the contractor of railway construction be selected by the Chinese government, and the Bangladeshi government will pay for land acquisition, resettlement of local residents, and wages for workers. The Chinese government will pay the construction cost. This accounts for about 80% to 85% of the total cost of the project.

A Chinese company was selected for the project, but after the Bangladeshi government lowered the contract price of the project, China decided to withdraw funds from both railway projects.

In response to Beijing’s decision, Bangladesh said it would seek financing from other channels to complete the project, according to Nikkei Asia.

China’s BRI (also referred to as a “zone Ichiro”) is a foreign policy project of the start of the Chinese leader Xi Jinping in 2013. By recreating the silk of ancient China, it aims to extend the administration’s economic and political influence to countries in Asia, Europe and Africa. Roads and Maritime Silk Road for trade in the 21st century.

BRI has invested Chinese capital in the construction of various high-cost infrastructure projects in more than 60 participating countries. It has been widely criticized for setting up debt traps and causing debt crises in those countries. For example, Sri Lanka was unable to repay the loan and lost Hambantota Harbor to China.

Bangladesh took the Belt and Road Initiative in 2016 at the risk of losing a strategically important port in the Bay of Bengal to China and giving the Beijing administration an access point to the Indian Ocean at the expense of debt-trap diplomacy. BRI) has been signed.

Bangladesh’s unprecedented funding cuts for BRI projects occur when tensions between the two countries are rising.

In May, Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister refused to allow China’s threat to South Asian countries to participate in the Japan-US-Australia-India Strategic Dialogue.

Quad is a four-country Indo-Pacific Alliance led by the United States, along with India, Japan and Australia. Beijing considers the quad to be a “small anti-Beijing club.”

China’s Bangladesh ambassador and defense minister threatened that if Bangladesh joins the group, China-Bangladesh relations would suffer “serious damage.”

Bangladesh Foreign Minister AKAbdul Momen said at a press conference on May 11 that “we are independent sovereign states” and “we decide on foreign policy. Every country should maintain its position. But we make decisions in the interests of people and the country. “

Momen expressed his surprise that the Chinese Communist Party’s “Wolf Warrior Diplomacy” diplomacy continued for a long time by disrupting the situation in Bangladesh. He described it as “abnormal” and “aggressive,” adding that he “did not expect China to do so.”

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