China's Belt and Road Initiative faces fresh backlash

New report offers critical assessment of initiative's projects in South-east Asia

The East Coast Rail Link project in Kuantan, which has been resuscitated after being put on ice because of ballooning costs and corruption, has been held up as an example of the troubles that China's BRI projects face.
The East Coast Rail Link project in Kuantan, which has been resuscitated after being put on ice because of ballooning costs and corruption, has been held up as an example of the troubles that China's BRI projects face.ST FILE PHOTO

The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) was supposed to be the centrepiece of China's grand Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in South-east Asia, linking ports on the east and west coasts of Peninsular Malaysia.

Instead, the project, which was recently resuscitated after being put on ice by Kuala Lumpur because of ballooning costs and corruption involving Malaysia's previous administration, has been held up by a new study as an example of the troubles that BRI projects face.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 15, 2019, with the headline 'China's BRI faces fresh backlash'. Subscribe