Malaysia shelves Belt and Road projects with China

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Malaysia has cancelled two multi-billion dollar projects that were part of China’s ambitious Belt and Road project, with Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad saying that Malaysia at the moment “cannot afford them.”

Malaysia’s state news agency Bernama said Mahathir told Malaysian reporters during the final day of a visit to Beijing on August 21 that both Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang understood the reasons behind the cancellations and “accepted them.”

“I believe China itself does not want to see Malaysia become a bankrupt country,” the New Straits Times quoted Mahathir as saying during a press conference marking the end of his China trip.

The projects comprise a $20-billion East Coast Rail Link railway in Peninsular Malaysia and two energy pipelines worth $2.3 billion in Sabah. They have been suspended pending renegotiation.

The rail project had been handed by the ousted government to China’s largest engineering firm, China Communications Construction Company. It was mainly financed by a loan from the Export-Import Bank of China.

Malaysia’s new government has called for drastic cuts to the projects’ ballooning expenditures, which it estimates at more than $22 billion. Some of that money has already been paid and could be difficult to recoup.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Malaysia has cancelled two multi-billion dollar projects that were part of China’s ambitious Belt and Road project, with Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad saying that Malaysia at the moment “cannot afford them.”

Reading Time: 1 minute

Malaysia has cancelled two multi-billion dollar projects that were part of China’s ambitious Belt and Road project, with Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad saying that Malaysia at the moment “cannot afford them.”

Malaysia’s state news agency Bernama said Mahathir told Malaysian reporters during the final day of a visit to Beijing on August 21 that both Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang understood the reasons behind the cancellations and “accepted them.”

“I believe China itself does not want to see Malaysia become a bankrupt country,” the New Straits Times quoted Mahathir as saying during a press conference marking the end of his China trip.

The projects comprise a $20-billion East Coast Rail Link railway in Peninsular Malaysia and two energy pipelines worth $2.3 billion in Sabah. They have been suspended pending renegotiation.

The rail project had been handed by the ousted government to China’s largest engineering firm, China Communications Construction Company. It was mainly financed by a loan from the Export-Import Bank of China.

Malaysia’s new government has called for drastic cuts to the projects’ ballooning expenditures, which it estimates at more than $22 billion. Some of that money has already been paid and could be difficult to recoup.

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