Beijing: Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ‘One Belt One Road’ project a part of his ambition to make China a superpower, seems to have hit roadblocks as claimed by a few analysts. President Xi Jinping had announced this project about four years back and since then many Chinese companies have aggressively invested and initiated projects in many countries. However, many of these projects have faced challenges which has reduced the overall chances of success of the ‘One Belt One Road’ project.
President Xi Jinping had announced the ambitious ‘One Belt One Road’ project in September 2013. This included hundreds of subprojects to connect China with East Asian countries right up to Europe. President Xi Jinping took up this project on fast track which was to increase China’s trade and its global influence. Experts have estimated the cost of the entire ‘One Belt One Road’ project to be anywhere between 4 trillion US dollars to 8 trillion US dollars.
Since the last four years China under took many projects in countries across East Asia, West Asia, Central Asia and Africa. The projects which had a pompous start, are currently facing stringent challenges. High speed rail project in Indonesia as a part of ‘One Belt One Road’ started two years back, however, till date even the track laying activity is not yet initiated. There has been resistance from locals on giving up their land. The promised project completion time was in 2019, however the Chinese companies now are not even willing to provide an “update” on the project.
Like Indonesia, “China-Singapore High Speed Railway” project too is stuck in some controversy. In this project, there seems to be a challenge on the route passing through Thailand. Due to investment regulations and labour law this 5-billion-dollar project just seem to have somehow started. Another rail project with Chinese investment of 5.8 billion dollars in Laos is facing strong confrontation from local opposition parties and residents. People of Laos are questioning the project if it is of their national interest.
‘One Belt One Road’ project through East Asia, West Asia and Central Asia is also facing many roadblocks. “Free trade Zone’ established by China on the Kazakhstan border is declared to be a failure by Chinese businessmen themselves. Also, the work on the Kazakhstan side is also reported to have been halted for some time now. Kirgizstan government is opposing the rail project connecting Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. Likewise, the China-Pakistan economic corridor is facing stringent opposition from the US, India and residents of Baluchistan.