Chinese taxpayers have most to fear on Silk Road
China is calling it the “plan of the century”.
China announced at the May 14-15 forum that it will provide assistance worth 60 billion yuan (8.7 billion USA dollars) in the coming three years to developing countries and worldwide organizations participating in the Belt and Road Initiative to improve people’s well-being.
China aims at having close ties with all neighbouring states for economic benefit and regional prosperity.
While some details remain sketchy – and some countries are skeptical or sitting things out for now – China has elevated the plan to a national strategy.
Xi jinping at the BRF summit.
Xi focused his speech on his initiative, boasting that it represented a “road for peace” and a way to “forge partnerships of friendship rather than alliance”.
China today dismissed India’s concerns over the Belt and Road initiative, saying the mega venture has broad global support and the China- Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project which is a part of it will not affect Beijing’s stand on Kashmir. “We are against it and consider it counterproductive, damaging, dangerous”.
Economic relations between China and ASEAN have been steadily improving.
China gave a kick to a number of stalled projects while the conference was in session, signing a deal on Sunday to finance an Indonesian high-speed railway and making progress on a deal to build nuclear reactors in Argentina.
“Our ambition is for more trade, not less trade, and China clearly shares this ambition”. “China is now in the process of adjusting these policies”.
The two countries are also likely to join hands to develop Dawei port along the Thai-Myanmar border.
The Philippines is keen to work with Chinese firms on more infrastructure-related projects, said Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar. “While that is going on, China is trying to connect with the world”. But he cautioned “all countries should respect each others’ sovereignty. and territorial integrity”.
He added: “We will not resort to outdated geopolitical maneuvering”.
“The Belt and Road initiative is one of the mechanisms for infrastructural development”.
The TPP, touted by the previous U.S. administration of President Barack Obama, has effectively been killed by Trump.
He cited the LAPPSET projects as one of the ambitious ventures which have been created to link Africa from the East coast to the west coast. “The US can help advocate OBOR in key fundraising areas”.
“All these (developments) show that the Belt and Road Initiative responds to the trend of the times, conforms to the law of development, and meets the people’s interests”, it said.
India is one notable holdout.
Malaysia now has two projects linked to the Belt and Road Initiative – the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park and the Melaka Gateway. China insists it takes no side in the dispute.
It was launched in 2013 as “one belt, one road” and it involves China underwriting billions of dollars of infrastructure investment in countries along the ancient Silk Road connecting it with Europe.
“Our position is clear that we have always welcomed India to participate in the Belt and Road initiative”.
Zhao Hong cautions that for now, the initiative is largely a vision.
China conceived numerous projects long before including them under the initiative.
He called for expanding consensus for One Belt One Road, enhancing cooperation in development and implementation and prepare a blueprint and roadmap for long-term cooperation.
This has not stopped China from launching a massive propaganda and marketing effort targeting foreign audiences.
“The Belt and Road development does not shut out, nor is it directed against, any party”.