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Jakarta Post

ASEAN connectivity could be blueprint for world

  • Lukas Maximilian Mueller

Jakarta   /   Thu, June 20 2019   /  01:35 am

China’s second Belt and Road Forum in late April brought with it a few innovations. Apparently keen to regain some goodwill, China announced modifications to the multibillion-dollar infrastructure initiative. This includes a closer collaboration with multilateral financial institutions, giving potential projects a more stringent approval procedure.In addition, China has agreed to set up a mediation panel in cooperation with Singapore, presumably to move away from China-centric dispute settlement mechanisms.This is clearly a reaction to recent backlashes against the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), many of which occurred in Southeast Asian countries. Both Thailand and Indonesia have noticeably limited Chinese involvement in their national railway infrastructure over the past five years. In the past year, Malaysia has successfully countered the perceived Chinese “debt-trap diplomacy” ...