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China pulls back from Bangladesh coal mines, pollution sources

March 11, 2021

China Economic Review:

China has told Bangladesh it will not fund coal mines and polluting power plants, as Beijing took the first tentative steps towards fulfilling its promises of sustainable Belt and Road investment, reported the Financial Times.

In a letter seen by the Financial Times, China’s embassy to Bangladesh informed the local Ministry of Finance that “the Chinese side shall no longer consider projects with high pollution and high energy consumption, such as coal mining [and] coal-fired power stations”.

The letter, which was sent last month during negotiations over $3.6 billion in infrastructure loans agreed in 2016 that Dhaka now wishes to repurpose, was a rare signal of Beijing’s hesitancy to fund polluting coal projects as part of the Belt and Road Initiative, said the FT.

It marked “the first indication I’ve seen of [China’s promises of a green BRI] translating into action on the ground”, said Simon Nicholas, an Australia-based analyst for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.

[Staff Report]

More: China turns its back on Bangladesh BRI coal projects

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