Tuesday, May 23, 2017

It Must Be Communist and Therefore Evil

asiatimes |   Western critics continue to pour cold water on China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), an ambitious and well-planned architecture connecting the massive Eurasian landmass through a system of roads, railways and ports. They complain that it lacks transparency, erodes trade standards set up by the West, is financially too huge for China to handle, is self-serving, and is a deceptive vehicle for China to dominate the world, just to name a few.

They insist that the fact India and most countries in the West are snubbing the BRI is proof that the Chinese initiative is going nowhere or will likely fail. However, judging from the response of a large number of prominent economists and world business and political leaders, the critics may be exaggerating their claims.

In 2016, two-way trade between China and the more than 60 countries along the BRI corridor approached US$1 trillion, and China invested more than $2 billion in these countries in addition to infrastructure investment funded by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and Silk Road Fund. At the recent Belt and Road Forum, China pledged to invest about $120 billion over the next few years in the countries participating in the initiative.

The consensus among analysts, participating nations and multinational institutions is that the BRI in fact fits into the United Nations Development Agenda of promoting economic growth, eradicating poverty and enhancing all facets of globalization.