Could Coronavirus Outbreak Affect Pak-China Economic Corridor Project?

Friday, June 26th: One of the most ambitious projects in history is China’s One Belt One Road project, also known as the New Silk Road.

In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping launched the infrastructure development project. It covers a whole range of development and investment projects, from East Asia to Europe, Africa and Latin America.

This is President Xi Jinping’s key strategy for China on the front lines of international cooperation and the economy, but critics disagree. They feel that China is using lending diplomacy to increase its influence in countries around the world.

A plan aimed at boosting economic growth through global flows of products, capital and technology has been abruptly halted by the Coronavirus epidemic. Many countries that have borrowed heavily from China are now facing many difficulties, and one by one, many of these countries have told China that they are not in a position to repay the debt.

So is this the end of President Xi Jinping’s ‘New Silk Road’ project? Or is the Coronavirus epidemic just a barrier and will the world economy as well as China overcome it?

‘One Belt, One Road’ project

Since launching the One Belt, One Road project in 2013, China has built power plants, gas pipelines, ports, airports and railways in 138 countries in Africa, Southeast and Central Asia, Europe and Latin America and hundreds of millions of dollars have been lent or promised. However, China has never provided full information on the cost of the New Silk Road project.

According to US consultancy firm RWR Advisory Group, China has lent 461 billion to countries participating in the One Belt, One Road project. Most of these countries are on the African continent and are considered to be among the most dangerous debtors.

Howard Zhang, editor of the BBC Chinese Service, said: “The plan has been criticized in China from all sides. In fact, China’s ruling leadership never agreed on the plan. Many questioned Xi Jinping’s strategy and prudence. Some even said it was an unnecessary expense.

Western nations, particularly the United States, have criticized the One Belt, One Road plan, saying “China is testing its aggressive lending strategy on weaker countries.”

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