China Power Investment Corp., an investor in Myanmar’s $3.6 billion Myitsone hydropower station, said the country’s sudden decision to halt the project is “bewildering,” according to the official Xinhua News Agency.
All legal documents and regulatory procedures have been cleared, Xinhua reported yesterday, citing Lu Qizhou, president of China Power Investment. A halt to construction will lead to “a series of legal issues,” Lu was cited as saying.
Myanmar President Thein Sein said on Sept. 30 the project on the Irrawaddy River should be suspended because it’s against the “will of the people,” according to the Associated Press. China, which also has oil and gas investments in the Southeast Asian nation, said the rights of Chinese companies ought to be respected and called for “friendly talks.”
The European Union welcomes Myanmar’s readiness to address the ecological concerns about the project and the government’s willingness to listen to “diverse voices,” according to a statement on Sept. 30. Last year, China, Myanmar and Thailand agreed to study a $10 billion hydropower project on the Salween River that discharges into the Andaman Sea.