China identifies “star” projects to focus on in its Belt and Road Initiative
Apr 29, 2019 (China Knowledge) - China has now identified a number of “star” projects in its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which it hopes can generate fast returns and highlight the benefits of cooperating with China amid growing criticism that such projects will only aggravate debt problems in their partner country.
These projects were identified during the Belt and Road Forum held in Beijing last week in a joint statement signed by China and the other 37 attending countries.
While these projects are still in their early stage, China is eager to promote these projects as proof of how it will go about carrying out its ambitious plan and will also set good models for future developments and projects, silencing critics.
Some of the projects highlighted include the Port of Piraeus in Greece which China hopes to turn into its “gateway to Europe” and the Gwadar port in Pakistan which is key part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which is also another flagship BRI project.
The Port of Piraeus which China’s state-owned shipping firm Cosco Holdings now holds a 67% stake in has long been pushed by China as a success story. The Greek port is currently one of the fastest growing ports in the world and is now ranked 36th globally in a list of the worlds’ 100 largest ports from 93rd back in 2008.
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