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COVID has affected China’s Belt and Road Initiative plans

COVID has affected China’s Belt and Road Initiative plans

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) suffered a lot from the consequences of the coronavirus. The Chinese officials confirmed BRI’s one-fifth of the projects has been ‘seriously affected’ by the pandemic, Al Jazeera reported on Friday.

China’s ministry’s International Economic Affairs Department held a news briefing in Beijing Friday. The officials reported that COVID-19 has deteriorated the business situation in the country, and one of the most fragile remains BRI.

In fact, 20 percent of projects under China’s ambitious initiative to link Asia, Europe and beyond have been “seriously affected” by the global pandemic, Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Friday.

According to a survey by the ministry, about 40 percent of projects have seen little adverse impact, while another 30-40 percent have been somewhat affected, said Wang Xiaolong, the top economist.

“About 20 percent of the projects have been seriously affected,” he said without giving further details.

The results from the survey were better than expected and although some projects had been put on hold, China had not heard of any major projects being cancelled, added.

The Belt and Road Initiative linked more than 100 nations

More than 100 countries took part in the BRI, more than 2,600 projects worth $3.7 trillion are linked to the initiative, Refinitiv agency reported. Pausing business worldwide became the main reasons for the impacts on projects, said Wang.

“As the situation improves we have confidence that the projects will come back and the execution of them will speed up,” the top economic official added.

Amid the coronacrisis, Chinese Republic has scaled back some plans after several nations sought to review, cancel or scale down commitments, citing concerns over costs, erosion of sovereignty and corruption.