The Big A: Relying on China for economic development was never a good idea, but it turned out to be more dangerous than we thought.
Italy and Iran are 2 of the countries hardest hit by The Wuhan Virus, outside of China.
Helen Raleigh explains why at The Federalist: The reason these 2 countries are suffering the most outside China is mainly due to their close ties with Beijing, primarily through the “One Belt and One Road” (OBOR) initiative.
OBOR is Beijing’s foreign policy play disguised as infrastructure investment.
This is how it works: China and Country X agree to do an infrastructure project in Country X.
Country X has to borrow from a Chinese bank to finance the project. A contract is always awarded to Chinese companies, which then bring supplies and Chinese employees to Country X to build the project.
As a result of One Belt and One Road, there are more than 300,000 Chinese living in Italy.
In March 2019, against warnings from the EU and the United States, Italy became the 1st and only G-7 country to sign onto OBOR.
As part of the deal, Italy opened an array of sectors to Chinese investment, from infrastructure to transportation, including letting Chinese state-owned companies hold a stake in four major Italian ports. …
Lombardy and Tuscany are the 2 regions that saw the most Chinese investment. A year later, the 1st China coronavirus infection case in Italy was reported in the Lombardy region on 21 February.
Today, Italy is experiencing the worst coronavirus outbreak outside China, and Lombardy is the hardest-hit region in the country.
The Iran case is interesting as well: in 2019 was the year Iran officially signed up to OBOR. China sees Iran as a Key player to this initiative because Iran is not only rich in Crude Oil but also lies in a direct path of an ambitious 2,000-mile railroad China wants to build, which will run from Western China through Tehran and Turkey into Europe.
Today, Iranian health officials trace the country’s China coronavirus outbreak to Qom, a city of a million people.
According to the WS-J, “China Railway Engineering Corp. is building a $2.7-B high-speed rail line through Qom. Chinese technicians have been helping refurbish a nuclear-power plant nearby.”
Iranian medical professionals suspect either Chinese workers in Qom or an Iranian businessman who travelled to China from Qom caused the spread of the coronavirus in Qom.
News reports indicate that a number of high Iranian officials have contracted coronavirus, and I believe at least 1 or 2 have died.
Ms. Raleigh explains: Although on 1 February the Iranian government banned its airlines from flying to China, it made an exception for Mahan Air, an unofficial airline for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The WS-J reported that Mahan Air “carried out 8 flights between Tehran and China between 1-9 February to transfer Chinese and Iranian passengers to their respective home countries.”
This explains why so many high-level Iranian officials are infected by the China coronavirus, including First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri and more than 20 lawmakers.
China’s Belt and Road initiative was the perfect pandemic freeway.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative in now in Limbo, says a report.
The projects run the risk of remaining incomplete or being abandoned if uncertainties around the COVID-19 pandemic persist.
Thousands of workers are unable to re-join work, with Chinese citizens facing a travel ban in 130 countries. The project in Asia and Europe and even along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor have come to a standstill, said the report.
Have a healthy weekend, Keep the Faith!