Chinese overseas projects fraught with danger, warns former ambassador


Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 18

China has embarked on a major outreach programme with other countries for economic gains but has failed to maintain its own domestic markets and is now going through an economic downturn, a former India diplomat said.

Gurjit Singh, a former Indian ambassador to Germany, Indonesia and Ethiopia, said at the Military Literature Festival here on Friday that China’s economic engagement with other countries is fraught with danger.

“China is building connectivity in different regions across the world, including Europe, Africa and Central Asia through construction of overseas railway lines and ports,” he said, speaking at a session called ‘Strategic Shift in the Pivot of Geography’.

“It was procuring raw material from several countries but has now stopped doing so, thereby giving severe economic shocks to the affected countries.”

Gurjit Singh also said that the real danger that is that the ongoing Chinese projects in other countries were not economic projects but strategic projects that did not abide by timelines and hence play the great game very effectively.

Lt Gen PM Bali, former Chief of Staff, Western Command, said the last three decades have seen the strategic rise of China, which has stared shifting the geographical pivot in terms with the world’s economy.

He said that as feared by international experts China has set on its conquest of other countries through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to gain control of the host country’s economy. The countries agreeing to BRI claim to have long term capital gains, especially in maritime projects, but the same need to be seen, he said.

Elaborating on China’s growing relations with Russia, Central Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa, Brig Praveen Badrinath, Chief Engineer of a Corps, said China was playing out a well synchronised game in pursuit of its interests. He said that through the BRI corridors, smaller countries are falling prey to China road projects. He argued that pattern of events over last few decades indicates China was slowly but surely moving towards debt trapping nations.

Moderating the session, Maj Gen AP Singh, General Officer commanding of a Division in the northern sector gave out the historical perspective of the ‘great game’ played out in the eastern hemisphere and China’s growing influence and prominence.



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