Chinese investment drying up in Pakistan, Russia

New investment in Russia through Chinas Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) fell to zero in the first half of 2022, while Chinese outlays in Pakistan dropped by 56 per cent during the same period, the media reported.

According to the RFE/RL, these are the findings of a new report from the Green Finance and Development Center at Fudan University in Shanghai, which point to growing headwinds facing Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature foreign policy venture that he once dubbed “the project of the century”.

Both Russia and Pakistan have been among the top beneficiaries of Chinese development spending through the BRI.

Moscow signed deals worth about $2 billion in 2021 alone and Islamabad hosts a $62 billion collection of infrastructure and energy projects known as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The Fudan University report highlights the changing nature of the BRI as it adapts to a combination of a strained global economy, China’s shifting position in the world, and many countries who inked deals and took out loans through the initiative now grappling with a growing debt crisis, RFE/RL reported.

BRI spending has been declining for several years as Beijing becomes more risk averse.

The report shows a total of $28.4 billion in Chinese investment across 147 BRI countries over the first half of 2022, down from $29.6 billion over the same period last year.

The BRI’s rapid expansion since 2013 has helped China become the world’s largest source of development credit, and how Beijing navigates the programme’s future will have global consequences.

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