China Pulls Back Funding From Southeast Asia

China is pulling back funds from Southeast Asia.

The region’s biggest source of funding is now sending money elsewhere, according to Australian think tank the Lowy Institute.

The majority of those funds were loans used to support critical infrastructure projects—including high-speed railways in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.

Between 2015 and 2021, the Chinese payout made up almost 20 percent of Southeast Asia’s total financing, but its contribution dropped from $7.6 billion in 2015 to 3.9 billion in 2021.

The Lowy Institute said that the Asian Development Bank and the World Band took over the region’s source of funding during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beijing’s decision to cull that financial support comes as other countries like the U.S., Australia, and Japan chimed in and offered their own assistance in an effort to counter Beijing’s political leverage.

For years, China has been pouring funds into foreign infrastructure projects. The regime launched a Belt and Road Initiative back in 2013—aiming to secure economic dominance while stretching its influence across the globe.

The initiative has been hitting bumpers as projects fail to land and nations fall into mounting debt.

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