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The Road & Belt: the ambitious Chinese project that arrived in Latin America

Author: David Cruz, Asociación Ambiente y Sociedad (Colombia), Published on: 28 April 2019

[Excerpt translation from Spanish provided by Business and Human Rights Resource Centre]

Between the 25th and 27th of April the Second Forum of International Cooperation on the Road & Belt initiative will take place in Beijing, which will host 37 State leaders including chiefs of State of Austria, Egypt, Hungary, Italy, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, among others. From Latin America, the President of Chile… has expressed that Chile expects to become the centre of negotiations for Chinese companies and a point of entry for them to also reach all of Latin America (1)…it is important to state that besides Chile there will be Ecuador, Cuba, Panama, Uruguay, Bolivia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana, Surinam and Trinidad and Tobago, which have made their official entrance into the initiative of the New Silk Road through their signing of memorandums of cooperation. Other countries such as Peru and Argentina have announced that they could sign the document in the coming days…The initiative has been criticised from many angles and some Western countries keep their reservations about the project. Many of the governments are concerned because of the high costs of the financing of the Belt & Road as it could pose an excessive indebtment with China and the benefits could be unbalanced. Furthermore, the lack of study of the environmental and social impacts of the projects affecting local economies of different regions, especially Latin America and Africa, where many of the Chinese investments have had a negative socio-environmental impacts…


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