An annual study by Peking University of 100 countries concluded that around half would be bad or risky investments for China’s landmark “Belt and Road Initiative”, due to poor trade connectivity and weak financing, the SCMP reports.
The survey, conducted in partnership with Beijing-based think tank the Taihe Institute, assesses candidate BRI countries on five criteria: policy, infrastructure, trade, financing, and human exchanges.
Russia topped the list as suitability with the initiative, due to its close political ties with China, reasonable infrastructure and human exchanges with its southern neighbour. Singapore, Malaysia, Kazakhstan and Germany made up the other top five.
However, 49 countries on the list, many in the middle east, were deemed to have severe structural or financial weaknesses that would inhibit the execution of future BRI projects.
“China should prepare in advance and assess and prevent the risks … if a country cannot have free capital exchanges with China, then that country won’t have good trade relations and human exchanges with China,” the report said.