Report: Many of China's Belt and Road projects underfunded

Australian researchers say China's Belt and Road initiative is stumbling. They've released a new report showing many of Beijing's investment commitments for infrastructure projects in Southeast Asia went unfulfilled.

The Lowy Institute released data on Wednesday covering the period between 2015 and 2021. The report says China agreed to provide funding totaling 84.3 billion dollars, but actually supplied just 29.6 billion dollars.

It cites cancelled railway projects in Thailand and the Philippines as examples.

The institute says factors include political instability in some countries, and poor engagement with local stakeholders. It also points to the global energy transition and coronavirus pandemic.

The report goes on to say the Belt and Road initiative has an uncertain future because of China's economic downturn and multiple debt crises in borrowing countries.

It says Beijing is minimizing risk by shifting to smaller projects.