mead berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn bayles
The China Backlash
Belt and Road Blowback in Laos?

A Chinese citizen has been killed in Laos as Beijing expands its Belt and Road infrastructure projects in the country, according to Reuters:

China’s embassy in Laos has issued a safety warning to its citizens there after a Chinese national was shot dead in the country’s Xaysomboun province.

Chinese workers have increasingly come under attack as companies expand abroad as part of President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road plan to build infrastructure with the rest of Asia and beyond, often in politically unstable places.

China and Laos last year agreed to step up security cooperation following a series of attacks on Chinese nationals, including shootings and bomb attacks.

The province in question is a restive mountainous region that has been beset by attacks from ethnic Hmong insurgents in recent years. Last January, a bombing there claimed two Chinese lives and temporarily halted a construction project; a few months later, Chinese workers were targeted, and one killed, in a shooting in nearby Luang Prang Province over opposition to a Chinese dam project.

The details of the latest incident are still emerging, but it adds to a growing pattern of Chinese workers coming under fire in countries tied to the Belt-and-Road initiative. Earlier this month, two Chinese citizens were killed by terrorists in Pakistan, a country where Beijing has particularly grand designs. And China’s projects have lately encountered spirited (and occasionally violent) local resistance in both Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

Judging by the early signs, then, Xi’s signature foreign policy initiative may cost more—in blood and treasure—than he bargained for.

Features Icon
Features
show comments
  • TPAJAX

    Just Chinese colonialism. Same reason Europeans built pretty much the only infrastructure in Africa. They know it.

  • Fat_Man

    We can only hope the Chinese have as much fun in Laos as we had.

    • ——————————

      I had fun there.
      It’s a fun place!….provided there’s no war of course….

  • ——————————

    I’ve been to Laos, and 3 other SE Asian countries..the last time was in ’09. The people don’t like the Chinese, even though the Chinese spend a lot of money there. They love Americans but don’t trust Chinese, or like their behavior…so none of this surprises me.
    The Hmong are the mountain people, and very backward. They definitely wouldn’t want a bunch of Chinese trampling on their existance.
    SE Asia is the wrong place to mess with the locals…ask any Ex Pat living there….

    • KremlinKryptonite

      Yep. Combination of ethnic/racial issues, but also history. China in all the various forms that it has taken over the eons has, historically, been a pretty bad neighbor. Forget millennia, but just a few hundred years back during the so called Middle Kingdom. These people were routinely oppressed, threatened, extorted. KOW TOW or else was the spirit of the time.

      • ——————————

        Thanks for the history!
        It brings some clarity….

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2017 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service