China’s belt and road cargo to Europe under scrutiny as operator admits to moving empty containers 20/08/19

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Source:

https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3023574/chinas-belt-and-road-cargo-europe-under-scrutiny-operator

China’s belt and road cargo to Europe under scrutiny as operator admits to moving empty containers

  • China Railway admits the existence of the problem in an interview with the state-run Global Times but insists it has improved recently
  • Cities and provinces were looking to benefit from subsidies offered by both the local and national government as part of Xi Jinping’s plan to boost global trade

Widespread waste and fraud associated with China’s Belt and Road Initiative has been unearthed after the country’s state railway group was forced to admit this month that a significant amount of cargo containers shuttling between Chinese factories and European cities were empty.

The admission by the state-run China Railway – the sole operator of the lines – followed an investigation by the Chinese Business Journal, a newspaper supervised by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, which found that in one extreme case only one of 41 containers on a particular train actually carried goods.

The belt and road plan, masterminded by President Xi Jinping, is the central government’s initiative to link economies into a China-centred trading network to grow global trade.

This led to many local governments rushing to open train services through the vast central Asian territory between China and Europe to show their support for Beijing’s geopolitical strategy, but many exporters actually transported empty containers in order to receive  government subsidies.

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