Sunday, March 11, 2012

China urges Myanmar to restart $3.6B dam project

China is not only eager to develop its own hydro resources; it has also moved aggressively into neighboring countries, with mixed success. In Myanmar, for example, the Chinese government-backed developer, China Power Investment Corp., was scheduled to construct a multi-million dollar dam projcet on the Irrawady River, to be finished in 2017. The Myitsone project was abruptly suspended in September, however, because of domestic criticisms. (The dam would displace a large number of rural residents, and has also been criticized by environmentalists.) Additionally, although the dam is located in Myanmar, 90% of the electricity would be exported to China. According to this article, the Chinese government is urging Myanmar to restart the project, but it is unclear how successful they will be.

This article gives an interesting glimpse into how China's ambitious plans for hydro are affecting its regional relationships. Capitalizing on the ample water resources in the rest of Southeast Asia would be great for China - but can China navigate the political hurdles necessary to secure these resources? At least in the case of Myanmar, this is proving more difficult than expected.

For the full article, read here:

1 comment:

  1. Here's another article on "the expansion of Chinese economic interests in Southeast Asia's undeveloped frontiers."

    For example, "Tianjin Union Development Group, a real-estate company from northern China" is building a massive gambling resort in the forests of Cambodia. In addition to taking over 130 square miles of land in a national preserve, a 40-mile highway is also cutting a "four-lane swathe through mostly virgin forest."

    Such projects not only adversely affect natural habitat; many developments by Chinese companies in Southeast Asia have also displaced unhappy locals.