English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

China exporting corruption driven investment in Bangladesh, says expert

China's approach to economic recovery comes with waste, fraud, and political manipulation, says an independent media group based in Washington

China is not only exporting steel and concrete but also corruption, opacity, and waste in Bangladesh.

Pia Sherman, writing in Global Strat View, an independent media group based in Washington said that China's approach to economic recovery comes with waste, fraud, and political manipulation. Chinese-driven corruption now permeates into several layers of Bangladeshi business enterprises, even government transactions. In a post-pandemic situation where Bangladesh too is looking at economic recovery, it runs the risk of becoming even more dependent on Beijing, which is rife with systemic corruption, paired with a lack of accountability.

Several detailed case studies of Chinese projects in Bangladesh demonstrate the consequences of China's failure to engage in open and transparent conduct, said Sherman.

Chinese investments in Bangladesh have systematically failed to respect human rights by creating long-lasting negative results for people and the environment.

Chinese projects in Bangladesh also show faulty payment, poor labour facilities, impracticality, and corruption.

A criminal case recently revealed that the Chinese were facilitating the illegal printing of 'bandrolls,' which are supposed to be exclusively printed by order of the Bangladeshi government by paying tax/VAT, known as cigarette tax, reported Global Strat View.

A Chinese company based in Shenzhen called 'Digit Anti Fake Company Ltd' (DAFC) had supplied these counterfeit band rolls/stamps to Chittagong-based Arafat Enterprise under the guise of supplying Art/ A4 size papers.

Furthermore, this Chinese company, 'Digit Anti Fake Company Ltd' (DAFC), is involved in printing other counterfeit documents, including passports, ballot papers, national identity cards, and birth registration certificates, said Sherman.

The Bangladesh authorities detected a website run by DAFC mentioning bandroll with 'Bangladesh's National Board of Revenue, Customs Paid.'

Moreover, Bangladeshi workers are risking their lives in dangerous Chinese-run illegal factories in the country. The massive fire that broke out at a factory in Bangladesh's Narayanganj in July 2021, killing at least several dozen people, should be a wake-up call for the South Asian nation, said Sherman.

The ill-treatment of workers is a significant concern regarding working conditions in the construction process of coal-fired power plants as part of the Chinese megaprojects in Bangladesh.

In April 2021, a group of workers of the SS Power Plant gathered in Chattogram to peacefully protest for higher wages and reduced working hours. Police authorities intervened to quell the protest through violent means. The Bangladeshi press recorded five deaths and a dozen injured people in the clash.

As more and more cases of Chinese embezzlement of funds in projects came to the forefront, China was forced to withdraw from financing three infrastructure projects in Bangladesh -Building a mixed gauge double line from Joydebpur in Gazipur to Ishwardi in Pabna near the capital Dhaka; Converting the meter gauge line from Akhaura to Sylhet and construction of a mixed gauge double railway line from Joydebpur to Jamalpur via Mymensingh.

Beijing has never been committed to transparency, engaging in unequal trade relations with the relatively weaker states. Chinese syndicates and criminals have been highly efficient in creating loose, flexible multinational structures that are often linked with legitimate business enterprises and exploit weaknesses in Bangladesh's law enforcement systems, said Sherman.

Also Read: China’s latest H-20 stealth bomber maybe unable to breach US island defences in the Indo-Pacific