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China's dream of global dominance is cracking at early stages



NEW DELHI: China's ambitious dream to dominate the world is coming undone right in the neighbourhood—something it least expected when it launched One Belt One Road (OBOR) at a powerful summit in May attended by dozens of state heads and representatives. 


Inspired by the Silk Road, the medi trade routes between Europe and Asia, the OBOR project will be a vast network of sea and land routes across dozens of countries. It will impact 4.4 billion people. China is said to be spending $1 trillion on it. It is not one project but six major routes which will include several railways line, roads, ports and other infrastructure. China claims these economic corridors will not only build infrastructure in countries that cannot afford to do it themselves but also boost global trade. Most of the countries in Asia and all of India's neighbours, except Bhutan, are willing to take part in the project. 


A few days ago, Pakistan turned down China's offer of assistance for the $14-billion Diamer-Bhasha Dam. Pakistan has asked China to take the project out of the $60 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor —a part of OBOR—and allow it to build the dam on its own. The reason: it found China's conditions exploitative. 

几天前,巴基斯坦拒绝了中国为其提供的耗资140亿美元的修建 Diamer-Bhasha大坝的援助。巴基斯坦已经要求中国从600亿美元的中巴经济走廊(“一带一路”项目的组成部分)中拿出此项目,希望中国允许他们自行修建大坝。理由是:它发现中国的条件是剥削性的。

Experts have warned CPEC is China's colonial ploy to create a permanent foothold in Pakistan. A good illustration is the deal Sri Lanka has signed with China recently.

Sri Lanka has signed a $1.1 billion deal with China for control and development of the deep-sea port of Hambantota. A state-run Chinese company will have a 99-year lease on the port and about 15,000 acres for building an industrial zone. In the past few years, China gave Sri Lanka big loans to build infrastructure. Now, Sri Lanka is unable to repay those loans. It is leasing out land to China to repay its loans. Part of the money it gets by leasing out the Hambantota port will go into repayment of Chinese loans. This is how China sneaks into a country on the back of costly loans. 


A few days before Pakistan took back the dam project from China, another neighbouring country, Nepal, cancelled a deal with a Chinese company to build Budhi Gandaki hydropower project. Nepal's deputy PM accused the Chinese company of irregularities. 

在巴基斯坦收回交给中国的大巴项目的前几天,中国另一个邻国尼泊尔取消了与中国公司建立Budhi Gandaki水电项目的交易。 尼泊尔副总理指责中国公司违规办事。

China's strategy to grab land and assets in smaller, less-developed countries is simple: it gives them loans on high rates for infrastructural projects, gets equity into projects, and when the country is unable to repay the loan, it gets ownership of the project. 


Expect this scenario to unfold in dozens of small countries in Asia and Africa if OBOR project becomes a reality. Touted as a global partnership by China, OBOR is actually an exploitative, colonial stratagem to gain vital assets in small countries. 

如果“一带一路”项目成为现实,预计这种情况将在几十个亚洲和非洲小国展开。 “一带一路”被中国誉为全球合作伙伴关系,实际上它是一个企图在弱小国家获得关键资源的剥削性的殖民战略。

From its early reception, it is clear OBOR faces difficulties even in countries that count China as a friend. Incidents in Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan have cast serious doubts over China's project to dominate the world through investments in infrastructure.


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