December 1st. Since China implemented the “Belt and Road Initiative”, some European and American politicians and so-called experts and scholars have taken up microscopes to examine these overseas projects, and resorted to “catching wind and shadows”, “confusing sight and hearing” and ” Tactics such as far-fetched associations, among which clichés such as “poor quality”, “environmental disaster”, and “debt trap” have become the usual rhetoric of the West in attacking the “Belt and Road” initiative.
Facts always speak louder than words. In Europe, Chinese contractors and builders step by step are using actions to refute these noises and prejudices.
See quality: higher than EU standards
As an important force of Chinese infrastructure construction overseas, the experience of China Road and Bridge Engineering Co., Ltd., which has built major projects such as the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway, cannot be copied by many European companies.
In the southeast of the Adriatic, the Chinese consortium led by China Road and Bridge is building a cross-sea bridge connecting the southern tip of the Croatian land and the Pelješac Peninsula.
Project representative Lu Shengwei told reporters that the contractor carefully studied the complex and stringent EU standards and used local supervision companies to be responsible for quality inspection and environmental protection, so that all aspects of project design, component manufacturing and construction reached or exceeded EU standards.
The Croatian Prime Minister, the Minister of Transport, and the head of the owner unit inspected the project several times this year and all expressed satisfaction with the work of the Chinese builders.
The Obrenovac-Lige section of Serbia’s E763 highway constructed by China Shandong Expressway was officially opened to traffic in August 2019. The 62.5-kilometer section of the tunnel has a long length and complicated geological conditions. Problems such as water penetration, landslides, and settlement occurred during the construction process.
In the face of difficulties, Shandong Expressway organized a team to conduct repeated surveys and adopted methods such as replacing large-area roadbed materials and laying geotextiles, which solved the problems efficiently and economically, laying a good foundation for project construction.
Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Mikhailovich said that without China’s efforts, the Obrenovac-Lige section of the highway cannot be opened. “We are proud of the high-quality completion of every meter of this section of high speed. We know that the construction process is not easy.”
Said environment: “Dolphins are playing near the bridge”
The construction area of the Croatian Peljesac Sea Bridge is located in a nature reserve, with historic oyster farms nearby, and it is also a popular beach during the tourist season.
In order to minimize the impact on the environment, the Chinese contractor used the bubble curtain technology originally used in the military to reduce noise during the piling stage, and in accordance with local environmental protection requirements, all the sand produced by the borehole was pumped away and transported to a designated location for discharge ; Construction vessels are also equipped with sewage tanks, and strict garbage classification is implemented in land-based office and accommodation areas, effectively preventing sewage discharge into the sea. Since the construction of the bridge began in 2018, there have been dolphins playing around here.
In 2016, the European Union set a development goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from 1990 and increasing the proportion of renewable energy in energy consumption to 32% by 2030. In order to achieve emission reduction targets, Hungary is vigorously developing clean energy, and photovoltaic power generation has become the main development direction.
China is the country with the largest installed capacity of photovoltaic power plants in the world, and the largest exporter of photovoltaic power generation equipment, and is in a leading position in the world in terms of technology.
The Kaposvár 100MW photovoltaic power station project invested and constructed by China National Machinery Import & Export (Group) Co., Ltd. is the largest photovoltaic project in Hungary at present. After completion, it will generate 130 million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year, which can save 45,000 tons of standard coal and reduce 120,000 tons. Carbon dioxide emissions play a huge role in promoting Hungary’s development of renewable energy.
In addition, the Steinari Thermal Power Plant in Bosnia and Herzegovina with an installed capacity of 300 MW was put into operation in January 2016. It is the first large-scale infrastructure project to use the special loan line for China-Central and Eastern Europe cooperation, and it is also one of the early achievements of the “Belt and Road” initiative.
Power plant director Milic said that due to the use of the circulating fluidized bed technology developed in China, the power plant’s sulfur dioxide emissions are lower than 150 mg per cubic meter, which is better than EU standards.
Hu Yang, the head of Chinese technology, said that the circulating fluidized bed is a technology developed by China based on the characteristics of Stanley coal. In terms of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emission control, the Stanley power plant is absolutely leading.
Debt Evaluation: “The Best Solution Provider”
According to Meng Fanye, the head of the Kaposvár photovoltaic power plant project of China National Machinery Corporation, the project funds come from China National Machinery Corporation’s own funds and project financing from Bank of China. The Hungarian government does not have any form of loan guarantee or power purchase performance guarantee. The Chinese investment and bank financing are based on confidence in the Hungarian legal system and the market, using project assets as collateral, and using future electricity bills to recover investment and repay loans.
Fanye Meng said that as a long-term operating asset, we are not in a hurry to recover the investment and hope to share the benefits with the host country. After the project is constructed and operated, we will pay about 2 million euros in taxes to the local government every year.
The Montenegro North-South Expressway project undertaken by Chinese companies is also a powerful refutation of the “debt trap.” The loan interest rate of the project is only 2%, the repayment time is 20 years, and the grace period is 6 years. Such loose conditions are rare in the world.
In response to the debt conspiracy theory in June 2019, Prime Minister Markovic of Montenegro stated that Montenegro did not use land as collateral for loans, and the Export-Import Bank of China provided the best solution. He said: “All speculations are unfounded. There is no debt bondage. The investor is Montenegro, not China or any other country.”