ANI | 17 March 2022
Chinese companies exploit Indonesia’s natural resources under BRI Initiative
Beijing [China], March 17 (ANI): The operations of Chinese companies under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in Indonesia have become a hazard for the country’s environment, disturbing its ecological equilibrium resulting into population displacement.
Chinese companies’ operations have been exploiting the natural resources of Indonesia and disturbing its ecological equilibrium. Their activities have not only threatened the flora and fauna, but the indigenous population causing their displacement, The HK Post reported.
Batang Toru Forest of Indonesia’s Sumatra Island has been home to roughly 800 Sumatran Orangutans, on the ’Critically Endangered Species’ list.
Furthermore, environmentalists argue that the project threatens the Sumatran tiger and Sunda pangolin.
These already endangered species have come under threat due to the construction USD 1.6 billion Batang Toru Hydro-Power Project, under China’s ambitious Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), by China’s Sino Hydro Corporation Limited.
The site of the Project is located near a fault line, a concern not mentioned in its environmental assessment, but raised by the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (WALHI), the report said.
Moreover, the Hydroelectric Power Project has been rated as the riskiest environmental project in history by scientists who have approached Indonesian President Joko Widodo for the protection of Batang Toru Forest.
Besides, the threat to wildlife in the region, the proposed dam would adversely impact the livelihood of over 100,000 people downstream.
Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping last year in April had championed the philosophy of "open, green and clean cooperation to make BRI development sustainable" in his speech at the Boao Forum for the Asia Annual Conference, The HK Post reported.
However, Chinese double standards of sustainable development through the BRI are obvious as Chinese activities while developing zinc mine in Northern Sumatra, the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Rail and the Probolinggo-Banyuwangi highway have been destroying the environment in the country.
PT Dairi Prima Mineral Project (DPM), in which China Nonferrous Metal Mining Group has majority stakes, is going ahead with USD 630 million zinc mining project. The project is within a few hundred meters of the villages Sopokomil and Parongil and lies in the seismic zone.
Most of the nearby residents are indigenous farmers and have raised concerns about the likely rising acidity of soil due to sulphuric acid, generated as by-product of the mining operations, The HK Post reported.
Separately, China’s Tsingshan Group is constructing a USD 700 million nickel-based processing plant at the Morowali Industrial Park under the BRI.
The project threatens nearby Indonesian marine life. A USD 165 million Probolinggo- Banyuwangi highway project being carried out by the China Communications Construction also lies on an active Wonorejo fault, The HK Post reported.