China to take 70 percent stake in strategic port in Myanmar - official
China has agreed take a 70 percent stake in a strategically important sea port in Myanmar, at the lower end of a proposed range amid local concerns about Beijing’s growing economic clout in the country, a senior government official said.
Oo Maung, vice chairman of a government-led committee overseeing the project, said Myanmar had pushed for a bigger slice of the roughly $7.2 billion deep sea port, in western #Rakhine state, in negotiations with a consortium led by China’s CITIC Group. Agreement was reached in September, he said.
“Locals from Rakhine and communities across Myanmar think that the previous 85/15 percent agreement is unfair to Myanmar. People disagree with the plan and the government is now trying to make a better deal,” he said.
Reuters in May reported that state-owned CITIC had proposed taking a 70-85 percent stake in the #Kyauk_Pyu port, a part of China’s ambitious “Belt and Road” infrastructure investment plan to deepen its links with economies throughout Asia and beyond.
China has been pushing for preferential access to the deep sea port of Kyauk Pyu on the Bay of Bengal, an entry point for a Chinese oil and gas pipeline that gives it an alternative route for energy imports from the Middle East that avoids the Malacca Strait, a shipping chokepoint.
The port is part of two projects, which also include an industrial park, to develop a special economic zone in Rakhine. CITIC was awarded the tenders in both initiatives in 2015.