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Deutsche Welle: Malaysia to Reassess Belt and Road Project

Prior to embarking on a five-day trip to China, Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir once again expressed his intent to cancel two major infrastructure projects in Malaysia that a Chinese company had funded. The Chinese side responded with concern that the cancellation of the projects will cause the Chinese company to suffer a significant financial loss and will also cause a setback in the “belt and road” project. Deutsche Welle reported that, In July, Mahathir said that there was some unfairness in a few of the projects in which the Chinese companies had invested. It will be an important issue that he will bring up when he visits China. On August 13, Mahathir stated again that he intends to cancel several agreements that the previous administration had signed for infrastructure projects that would cost billions of dollars. He stated, “Malaysia does not need these projects.” One high ranking Chinese  bank official who participated in sourcing the funding for the Malaysia projects told Deutsche Welle that cancelling the project would be a major setback for the development of China’s Belt and Road project overseas. It would result in a huge financial loss to the Chinese investors and would result in the loan becoming a bad debt. Mahathir also stated that he will demand that China respect freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, “No one should develop a permanent station in the disputed region in the South China Sea and cause an unnecessary increase in tension.”

Source: Deutsche Welle, August 14, 2018 马来西亚喊停 “一带一路”将受挫