Major Singapore newspaper Sinchew recently reported that the Myanmar government is in the middle of re-evaluating a Chinese investment project to develop a deep-water port at the Port of Kyaukpyu. The project is part of China’s One Belt One Road initiative; the total investment was estimated to be US$9 billion. The Myanmar government is deeply concerned about the high cost and what a potential debt default could lead to. Based on what has happened elsewhere, Myanmar may lose control of Kyaukpyu. Sources inside the Myanmar government reported that negotiations are going on with China to reduce the cost of the project. Kyaukpyu is located in west Myanmar’s Rakhine Province. That port offers China a direct path to the Indian Ocean from Southwest China, bypassing the Strait of Malacca. If started, the Port of Kyaukpyu development project will be the largest infrastructure project in Myanmar’s history. The project is also located at the starting point of an oil and gas pipeline station leading to China’s Yunnan Province.
Source: Sinchew, June 4, 2018