17 January 2018

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11/14/2017 NEPAL – CHINA

Nepal cancels a deal with China to build a US$ 2.5 billion dam

A memorandum of understanding for the construction of a 1,200MW hydroelectric plant at about 80km from Kathmandu was signed in June, less than a month after Nepal formally agreed to take part in the Belt and Road Initiative, Beijing’s new Silk Road.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – Nepal is expected to cancel a deal with a Chinese state-owned company to build one of the country’s biggest hydropower plants, this according to its deputy prime minister.

In a tweet on Monday afternoon, Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa said the plan to award the US$ 2.5 billion hydroelectric project to China Gezhouba Group had been scrapped.

“In the meeting of the Council of Ministers held today, the agreement with the Gezhouba Group in respect of Budhi Gandaki Hydro Electric Project was found in an irregular and thoughtless manner and rejected under the direction of the Parliamentary Committee,” he said.

The two parties had signed a memorandum of understanding in June to build the 1,200MW hydropower plant about 80km from Kathmandu, inking the deal less than a month after Nepal formally agreed to take part in the Belt and Road Initiative, Beijing’s new Silk Road.

The agreement’s cancellation is expected to be a major setback for Beijing as it seeks to expand its influence in the Himalayan country through the massive infrastructure drive.

Dinesh Kumar Ghimire, a spokesman for Nepal’s Ministry of Energy, said he believed the decision was final “Since [the deputy prime minister] put the decision on Twitter”.

A Nepal-based public relations officer for Gezhouba said the company had not been notified about the change, adding the original memorandum was expected to be turned into a formal contract next year.

Gezhouba already has at least two hydropower contracts in Nepal, whilst other Chinese companies are also building hospitals, roads and airports in the country.

The Nepali government led by former prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal signed up for the Chinese initiative in May. However, some had questioned whether Nepal would continue to support such links with China after Sher Bahadur Deuba took over as prime minister in June.

In August, Deuba told visiting Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Yang that his government remained committed to implementing past agreements.

See also

06/10/2017 15:18:00 MYANMAR – CHINA
Myanmar wants Chinese Investment to develop the country

Myanmar authorities want to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to make the country an important hub connecting Southeast Asia and South Asia. Some US$ 10 billion are earmarked for conflict-torn Rakhine.

20/11/2017 17:02:00 PAKISTAN – CHINA
Pakistan’s decision to build dam without Beijing reveals in cracks in the Belt and Road Initiative

Pakistan is the second country in a few days to cancel a deal with China. Beijing wants sovereign guarantees, but refuses public tenders. Concerns are raised about the quality of Chinese equipment. The use of Chinese workers displaces locals, causing a significant political fallout.

15/11/2016 14:54:00 JAPAN
Too many accidents caused by elderly drivers, more rigid road traffic laws

The rate of road accidents caused by senior citizens is growing steadily. The new Road Traffic Laws will take effect from March 2017 to try to contain the increase in accidents.

19/05/2017 13:31:00 CHINA
Corruption and human rights abuses cast a shadow over OBOR, Xi Jinping’s mega project

Corruption is not just the result of a money exchange; it also comes from a lack of transparency when agreements are implemented. One cannot expect a new Gospel from a government that promotes repression and abuse. An exiled Chinese scholar looks at the issue. Courtesy of ChinaChange.

13/05/2017 10:22:00 CHINA
With 'One belt, One road', the New Silk Road, China shows its strength. But is it really capable?

Xi Jinping makes "a show of strength" at an economic and military level, but many doubt that China can sustain such a financial burden. For many countries, major projects in Central Asia, South Asia, and the South and East China Sea hide very dangerous ghostly dreams. Europe is distrustful. Only Italy is participating in the "One belt, One road" meeting in Beijing this weekend. The analysis of scholar Willy Lam. Courtesy of The Jamestown Foundation. 

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