China’s vast Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is in danger of losing momentum as opposition in targeted countries rises and debts mount, according to a study by AidData. The study said an increasing number of China-backed projects have been suspended or cancelled since BRI’s 2013 launch, with evidence of “buyer’s remorse” in countries as far afield as Kazakhstan, Costa Rica and Cameroon. AidData said $11.58 billion in projects in Malaysia have been cancelled over 2013-2021, with nearly $1.5 billion cancelled in Kazakhstan and more than a $1 billion in Bolivia. The survey found that 35% of BRI projects were struggling with corruption, labour violations, environmental pollution and public protests. AidData’s study received funding from a diverse group of private and public organizations, including the Ford Foundation and USAID.
Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.