Infrastructure

Expert Voices

Malaysia railway deal shows why Belt and Road projects are hard to kill

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) speaks to Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (not pictured) during their meeting at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse on August 20 2018 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks to Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (not pictured) on Aug. 20, 2018, in Beijing, China. Photo: Roman Pilipey/Pool via Getty Images

China and Malaysia are close to reviving a $20 billion railway deal, just a year after Malaysia’s new president, Mahathir Mohamad, suggested the project might be scrapped.

Why it matters: The railway deal is just the latest example of how Belt and Road Initiative projects rarely die. As for leaders in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and elsewhere, Mahathir’s criticism of the BRI was not a rejection of it, but a bargaining strategy.

Hakeem Jeffries: Passing an infrastructure package is possible

Hakeem Jeffries talking to Mike Allen.
Photo: Chuck Kennedy

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.). told Axios' Mike Allen at an Axios News Shapers event on Thursday that he thinks passing a roughly trillion-dollar bipartisan infrastructure package is possible for Congress.

Driving the news: His confidence on infrastructure stems from the fact that President Trump was able to get behind a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill last year. He added he thinks it's possible to accomplish something similar with "health care and pre-existing conditions."

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