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Malaysia cancels major BRI project, highlighting complaints about Chinese “dept-trap diplomacy”

Malaysia has cancelled a contact with major Chinese contractor CCCC for the building of a 688km rail project, citing an unaffordable interest rate. Some, including the country’s Prime Minister had noted the undesirable elements of the project, including its funding through a Chinese loan to pay a Chinese contractor using mostly workers from China. This project marks the continuation of a longer-term trend where the Belt and Road Initiative is being criticized for ensnaring countries “in a debt trap that leaves them vulnerable to China’s influence.” Former US Secretary of State decried Chinese practices through the BRI in a speech in 2018, saying “the US pursues, develops sustainable growth that bolsters institutions, strengthens rule of law, and builds the capacity of African countries to stand on their own two feet…this stands in stark contrast to China’s approach, which encourages dependency using opaque contracts, predatory loan practices, and corrupt deals that mire nations in debt and undercut their sovereignty.” 

Source: (Updated) Malaysia cancelling ECRL project with CCCC: Azmin | New Straits Times | Malaysia General Business Sports and Lifestyle News

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