The Prime Minister is raising whether China's Belt and Road initiative to invest in infrastructure in Asia and central and eastern Europe meets "international standards," it is reported.
The Financial Times said that projects under the initiative have been criticised for their lack of financial transparency and their reliance on Chinese contractors, quoting a recent study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies which claimed that Chinese companies receive 89% of the contracts for Beijing's projects in Asia and Europe. Theresa May was quoted by the press, en-route for her current visit to the country, as saying that she wanted "international standards adhered to" in the delivery of the projects.
The CNBC claimed that the initiative, which at one point included 65 countries, could boost China's economy while attracting more investment and trade along the route. It asserted that May's reservations about the initiative were notable since China launched its first freight service by train to the U.K last year, running from the Chinese city of Yiwu in the eastern Zhejiang province, to Barking in London in the U.K. The China-Britain Business Council has said that there is a role for Britain's companies in the delivery of the initiative.
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