A Chinese worker in Luang Prabang carries materials for the China-Laos Railway, which opened in December. An influx of unskilled Chinese workers has fuelled tensions surrounding Southeast Asia’s belt and road projects. Photo: AFP
A Chinese worker in Luang Prabang carries materials for the China-Laos Railway, which opened in December. An influx of unskilled Chinese workers has fuelled tensions surrounding Southeast Asia’s belt and road projects. Photo: AFP

China’s belt and road plans for Southeast Asia face uncertain ‘long-term prospects’ as social, environment concerns persist: study

  • Worries about the Belt and Road Initiative’s environmental and social costs ‘are likely to hinder progress’, according to the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute report
  • Beijing ‘remains committed’ to the region’s projects, but has pivoted more towards ‘soft’ health and digital infrastructure amid the pandemic, it found

A Chinese worker in Luang Prabang carries materials for the China-Laos Railway, which opened in December. An influx of unskilled Chinese workers has fuelled tensions surrounding Southeast Asia’s belt and road projects. Photo: AFP
A Chinese worker in Luang Prabang carries materials for the China-Laos Railway, which opened in December. An influx of unskilled Chinese workers has fuelled tensions surrounding Southeast Asia’s belt and road projects. Photo: AFP
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