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Beijing is playing a global game of Monopoly

China's struggle for the political sovereignty of interpretation of the Silk road Initiative will be conducted in Bishkek from a nondescript building in the Ts

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Beijing is playing a global game of Monopoly

China's struggle for the political sovereignty of interpretation of the Silk road Initiative will be conducted in Bishkek from a nondescript building in the Tschui-Allee, which was named in Soviet times after Lenin. There, Deng Hao sits around in the Chinese cultural center and taps on his mobile phone. The shelves only Chinese-language books are almost. These porcelain vases and teacups. On the wall is a Chinese flag. Prior to that, a man piles up a high pyramid of books by President Xi Jinping.

That never someone comes to buy them, according to Deng, no Problem. It's not a matter of Profit: "We want to improve the Image of China." Deng himself is here on the orders from Beijing. 3500 kilometers away from his home city in the mid-twenties in a black T-is a kind of cultural Ambassador Shirt.

The consequences of the Chinese money rain

Six years ago, the President has to call Xi Jinping, in Kazakhstan the Initiative of the new silk road, ancient trade to revive routes between Europe and China. Meanwhile, there is also a maritime, an Arctic and a digital silk road. Chinese firms to buy in the name of the policy, high-tech companies in Europe, to build roads, ports and power plants in Africa and South-East Asia and worldwide to invest in critical infrastructure.

Roman Mogilevskii feels the consequences of the Chinese money rain every day on the way to his small office in the centre of Bishkek. Many roads were built through Beijing and repaired. In the city, the Soviet times it was as green Paradise it is known, trees are cut to make way for wider roads.

loans without conditions

Economist Mogilevskii teaches at the University of Central Asia, and conducts research to investments in Kyrgyzstan. From his point of view it is simple: After the end of the Soviet Union, the de-industrialisation hit the country hard. The smallest of the five Central Asian Ex-Soviet republics, with 6 million inhabitants, is regarded as an island of democracy. However, except in agriculture and in tourism there are hardly any Jobs, a lot of corruption.

1 Million Kyrgyz people must seek work abroad. One-third of the gross domestic product came from you. Moscow is regarded more as a security-politically the most important player in the Region. However, economic assistance is no more. The EU offers like to Council, but little money. And if the United States have a Trump of a Central Asian strategy, white in Bishkek, nobody.

In the coming years, Kyrgyzstan will have to pay the debt back.

China grants, however, loans without conditions. The compliance with Social and environmental standards, the applications for international donors, so make it difficult to play in the Deals no role. The seduction is too great.

Kyrgyzstan is a good example of how China is going on: It makes lucrative deals that entices governments to projects that you cannot afford, and use, if you get into financial difficulties. The unstable political situation, the easier it has Beijing.

In the young democracy, it has long been the biggest lenders. The cost for the China-funded infrastructure projects amounting to 2.2 billion dollars. The half flowed into the Road. More than 120 million dollars in Bishkek. In ten years, the Kyrgyz debt have increased only in the case of China's state-owned Bank Exim Bank from 9 million to 1.7 billion dollars. The credit institution holds 42 percent of the foreign debt of the country.

the country can Earn only if more Goods are transported over the new roads.

In the coming years, Kyrgyzstan will have to pay the debt back. But so far, it has benefited little from the expensive investment. Builders were mostly Chinese companies, managed workers and Material from China. Chinese companies have also invested their own money, especially in geological exploration and the important gold industry.

Nevertheless, the Numbers do not Bode well. Can earn the country only if more Goods are transported over the new roads. The two Highways that connect the North and the South with China were renewed. The trade volume between the countries rose. Between 2013 and 2017, it shrank in the most important trade sectors as much as 16 percent. Similarly, it could end with a planned gas pipeline and a railway line to Uzbekistan. Kyrgyzstan is intended to serve only as a transit country, without access to the infrastructure.

charm offensive with calculus

Meanwhile, growing doubts about China's intentions. The USA warn countries of a partnership with Beijing. The EU calls for an end to the one-way street policy, the Chinese company before shares in the construction of the infrastructure in a systematic way. In Pakistan and Malaysia since Government concerns. India, the cooperation in Protest at the never occurred. And at least since Sri Lanka is a port and the Land for 99 years to China had to lease, because it is no longer able to operate the loans, the Initiative has an image problem.

Therefore, Deng Hao and the cultural centre, streets are an important part of the Silk road Initiative. Beijing wants to the sovereignty of interpretation. About the investment, the country's own political System. It is not only investing in future technology, but in the world also in media houses, publishing houses and TV-stations. It uses its market power to critical reports, to suppress and to promote Pro-Chinese. In Kyrgyzstan, it has equipped universities with computers and operates in Bishkek, two Confucius institutes. Students can travel to language to government cost courses to China. To the spring festival cooked Deng with them dumplings.

The charm offensive is not only welcome. While the Kyrgyz government is the Hand, there is a growing anger of the citizens. Already in 2017, 35 percent said in a survey, to see China's economic influence as a threat to Kyrgyzstan. Many fear that the government of Beijing.

criticism troubled KP

came a Deep, it in 2018. While temperatures fell in the capital, under minus 20 degrees, the municipal heating plant. 386 million Dollar had made China for the rehabilitation, conducted by a Chinese company. The Opposition accused the government of corruption and the Chinese sloppiness. The then Prime Minister and his Cabinet had to resign. Two Ex-Premiers, landed in jail. Shortly afterwards, the government said a project with the group Huawei, which should install in Kyrgyz cities, the traffic monitoring. The official reason is a violation of Huawei's against the contract details. It is more likely that the government, fearing new protests.

The discourse of nationalist groups in heating. In December, around 100 Protesters gathered outside China's Embassy in Bishkek to protest against the persecution of the Muslim minority, the Uighurs in China and against an alleged illegal Migration from the neighbouring country. Rumors that China would pay for Uighurs delivered premiums, make the rounds. These are extreme sounds, but many observers see a growing, strong Sinophobie.

Growing resistance to China's foreign policy

The criticism abroad remains in China is not without consequences. The former Diplomat and member of the chamber of Counsellors CPPCC, Ye Dabo, was the statement of Premier Li Keqiangs in question, the Silk road Initiative have made 2018 "important progress". It was "a little exaggerated". In the strict political operation in Beijing which was like a public slap in the face.

The growing resistance against China's expansive foreign policy alarmed the Communist party. Last week, foreign Minister Wang Yi sought a different Interpretation. You understand that in the development process would secure concerns. However, the allegation of undue influence abroad is unfounded. The silk road is not a geopolitical tool, but a "cooperation platform". The participants list of the upcoming summit in Beijing, the "vote of confidence" is not enough.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 26.04.2019, 21:34 PM

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