China’s Belt and Road infrastructure drive is still in high gear, but when the pedal hits the metal, Japan appears to be kicking China to the curb in Southeast Asia:
(Bloomberg) — Japan is still winning the Southeast Asia infrastructure race against China, with pending projects worth almost one and a half times its rival, according to the latest data from Fitch Solutions.
Japanese-backed projects in the region’s six biggest economies — Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam — are valued at $367 billion, the figures show. China’s tally is $255 billion. […]
The latest Fitch figures, provided in an emailed response to Bloomberg, count only pending projects — those at the stages of planning, feasibility study, tender and currently under construction. Fitch data in February 2018 put Japan’s investment at $230 billion and China’s at $155 billion.
Vietnam is by far the biggest focus for Japan’s infrastructure involvement, with pending projects worth $209 billion — more than half of Japan’s total. That includes a $58.7 billion high-speed railway between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
Those are pending projects, mind you – they may not actually happen. Like China’s nuclear ambitions along the B&R:
China could build as many as 30 overseas nuclear reactors through its involvement in the “Belt and Road” initiative over the next decade, a senior industry official told a meeting of China’s political advisory body this week.
Wang Shoujun, a standing committee member of the China People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), told delegates on Wednesday that China needed to take full advantage of the opportunities provided by “Belt and Road” and give more financial and policy support to its nuclear sector.