China’s 'One Belt, One Road' policy hindered by departure of neighboring states

Nepal, Myanmar and Pakistan have either postponed or canceled cooperative projects on hydroelectricity with China

The opening ceremony of the One Belt, One Road forum earlier this year in Moscow. (Source: official website of the Kremlin, http://en.kremlin.ru/)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) --  Recent reports have shown that China’s neighboring states, including Nepal, Myanmar, and Pakistan are among those who have either postponed, or even canceled cooperative projects on hydroelectricity, signaling that China’s “One Belt, One Road” policy has not been met with the applause it had originally hoped for.

According to a report by Voice of America, the Prime Minister of Nepal has announced the cancellation of a US$2.5 billion joint project on constructing hydroelectricity power plants after accusing the Chinese firm of defaulting on financial obligations. Myanmar has also reiterated its disinterest in constructing major hydroelectricity power plants last month, after canceling a cooperative dam building project nearly three years ago.

On Tuesday, the Pakistani government announced its decision on pulling out of the US$14 billion “Diamer-Bhasha Dam” project after saying that the financing conditions proposed by the Chinese government were too harsh. China has since then responded by calling off three funding projects for a total of US$9.5 billion originally intended to help with Pakistan’s road-building operations.

Beijing had been highly confident on its “One Belt, One Road” policy, hoping that through it they would be able to achieve its ultimate strategic goal of sponsoring development around the globe. The unexpected rejections by its various neighbors, however, cast doubts on whether China's grand scheme would be accepted as smoothly as it had hoped for.

Experts have pointed out that although the decisions of the three countries were all influenced by various political-economic factors, the main reason behind these actions is that developing countries are coming to realize that cooperating with China on major hydroelectricity projects would come with too high a cost that doesn’t serve the best interest of the state.