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Top News

Coronavirus to affect China's Belt and Road Initiative

Wuhan's position as a strategic transport hub has backfired and worked as a negative factor, says the report.
08 Feb 2020
  • Wuhan's position as a strategic transport hub has backfired and worked as a negative factor, says the report.
  • Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus serves as a vital junction in BRI.

The epidemic of novel coronavirus emerging from China, has not only created global health emergency but has also dented the global economy and can also hamper China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The development comes as the city of Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus sits at an important junction in BRI, China’s most ambitious project to date under which billions of dollars will be invested in infrastructure development to ease down trade and logistics between China and Europe, as China seeks to revive its much celebrated Silk Route.

As per Nikkie Asia Review, the epidemic will not only affect international freight trains that run between Wuhan and Duisburg, Germany, but will also negatively impact the infrastructure drive.“Wuhan's position as a strategic transport hub has backfired and worked as a negative factor,” said the report.

It added that as the virus spreads it needs to be seen how it will impact the megacity of Chongqing, located in southwestern China, which also “serves as a terminus for international freight trains. It also plays an important role in the Belt and Road campaign.”

The spread of coronavirus is detrimental to the global trade as well. Earlier, a report published by OECD stated that the rapid spread of a new coronavirus in China, could rapidly weaken already fragile global growth as trade and oil demand slow. Many analysts share the views of US Federal Reserve Jerome Powell who said last week that it “very uncertain how far it will spread and what the macro-economic effects will be".

But “there will clearly be implications at least in the near term for Chinese output and I would guess for some of their close neighbours", he said.

Till date, at least 31,000 people have been infected and 630 killed by the novel coronavirus, which has spread to two dozen countries.