Executive Intelligence Review


Bolivia’s Future in Belt and Road Goes Beyond Bioceanic Railroad

July 20, 2018 (EIRNS)—In a wide-ranging interview with the Bolivian daily La Razon, published July 18, Chinese Ambassador Liang Yu emphasized that now that Bolivia and China are “strategic partners,” an association consolidated during President Evo Morales’s June 18-19 trip to China, there is no limit to the potential for their cooperation.

Moreover, Bolivia’s now official participation in the Belt and Road Initiative “includes everything,” he stressed, and reported that during Morales’ visit, “China also demonstrated its interest and willingness to cooperate in [building] the bioceanic rail corridor” which Bolivia has been organizing for over the past several years. Although Morales has emphasized that financing for the project would be private—public-private partnerships, or PPPs—and that a consortium of European companies would provide funds, Liang’s remarks add a new dimension to the project.

The ambassador stated that when Morales was in China, he took the high-speed train from Beijing to Tianjin, and was so impressed by his ride that he said he wanted the bioceanic railroad to run at the same speed. Of course, Liang continued, China has the largest network of high-speed trains in the world, and the most advanced technology for building them. Look at Tibet, he pointed out, where China has built high-speed trains, and whose alpine topography is very similar to that of Bolivia’s.

Beyond this, he pointed to several areas in which the two nations will intensify their cooperation—military and defense, satellite building and launching, and coordinating policies at the UN Security Council, among others. Also, he said, by year’s end Bolivia should be ready to become a member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which will greatly facilitate financing needed for infrastructure projects in the country.