VOA reported that, according to The Daily Star of Bangladesh, the Finance Minister of Bangladesh told the reporter that Bangladesh has canceled the Dhaka-Sylhet road expansion project that was awarded to the China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd. (CHEC). CHEC has been added to the Bangladesh blacklist for alleged bribery of a Bangladesh official and is forbidden from participating in any future projects in Bangladesh. CHEC is a subsidiary of the China Communications Construction Company Ltd. (CCCC) and is a star company in China’s “one belt one road” project. A news article from the Indian media The Print stated that there was also a dispute about the total amount of the project where CHEC proposed a cost that was twice the amount that the Bangladesh Highway Department estimated. The Dhaka-Sylhet road project is one of the US$2.1 trillion investment projects that Xi Jinping signed with Bangladesh when he visited in October 2016.
According to The Daily Star, this is not the first time that CHEC attempted to bribe Bangladesh officials. The CHEC’s last attempt at bribery cost the sons of two Bangladesh senior officials a sentence to six years in jail. China is the largest country to provide foreign aid to Bangladesh. Currently it has several other projects including a highway, an Industry Park, and a harbor expansion going on in Bangladesh. The Daily Star reported that the termination of CHEC contract does not affect these projects.
Source: Voice of America, January 19, 2018