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China's One Belt, One Road plan `will drive Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal towards bankruptcy`
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Brussels, June 12 (Agencies): Almost a month after China hosted the Belt and Road forum in Beijing, European economists and experts have concluded that Beijing's One Belt, One Road (OBOR) project is nothing but a debt instrument.

News agency ANI on Monday cited the experts as further claiming that the OBOR initiative will push several nations, including Pakistan, towards bankruptcy.

India has registered its concerns about the project, which espouses the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. CPEC is the key artery of China's Belt and Road project that aims to connect Asia, Europe and Africa through a network of roads, railway lines, and ports.

As per the experts, China is charging interest rates as high as 16 percent and above for funding made available for OBOR projects like the CPEC, and warned that these loans, which are cumulative, cannot be repaid easily.

They are certain that countries like Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal could be pushed into an endless debt trap.

Contrary to the claims made by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that the CPEC could emerge as a game changer for the Pakistan economy, there is a worried and concerned perception gaining ground that the project is all and only about boosting Beijing's position through its Renminbi or Yuan currency.

One expert has said that China is competing globally to make the Yuan an alternate currency to the Dollar, and its One Belt, One Road initiative is to play a major role in this.

It is a well-known fact that Islamabad has border-related differences with India, Afghanistan and Iran, but this has not stopped China from using the influence that it enjoys with Pakistan to raise its investment-related stakes in the country.

China has realised that Pakistan is completely dependent on it from a defence point of view, and will now use the proposed CPEC projects to establish itself as an economic behemoth as well in the region, which could eventually push Pakistan into debt.

China, one expert, has said, will use the plea that it will sell its goods to Pakistan at higher price due to the risks involved in its proposed investments.

"Pakistan has no opportunity for bidding, it takes whatever China provides and in such a scenario transparency does not exists," he said.

News Updated at : Monday, June 12, 2017
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