The diversified BRI


No matter how controversial the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the potential and hidden benefits are enormous and thus cannot be easily counted. China has not taken this project unilaterally but collectively to address global concerns and issues of utmost concern to humanity at large. A large number of countries (over 71) have agreed to go along with the BRI. This global concern is the major reason of success of the BRI and global participation has been on the rise. And this trend is still targeting more participants.

The initative is going with its full success and in many parts of the world. To talk about the European consensus is revealing. European countries, especially Italy, have shown its strength in the project. Rome and Beijing signed a major deal on the BRI. The Chinese and Italian leaders signed a memorandum of understanding signaling Italy’s participation in the BRI, a state-led investment effort that seeks to deepen Chinese infrastructure links across Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America.

In total, Chinese investors signed 29 separate deals worth a total $ 2.8 billion. Most notably, they agreed to invest in port infrastructure in Trieste, Genoa, and Palermo, which could give Chinese goods faster access to Europe and enhances its railway connectivity. This makes Italy a unique country in Europe and significant leaders in the belt of Road and Road Imitative. Italy will be the country introducing BRI to China and taking its major projects for common benefits to mankind.

Besides Italy, Greece is another shining example of the BRI. The Foreign Ministers of China and Greece signed a Memorandum of Understanding related to further cooperation under the Belt and Road initiative on 29 August 2018. In March 2019, Luxembourg also signed the agreement with China. On 29 April, during his visit to Beijing, Swiss President Ueli Maurer signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China under the Belt and Road Initiative.

Russia is a major partner in BRI projects. On 26 April 2019, the leaders of Russia and China called their countries “good friends” and vowed to work together in pursuing greater economic integration of Eurasia. On the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin pledged to further strengthen economic and trade cooperation between the two sides. President Putin further stated that, “countries gathering under the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union share long-term strategic interests of peace and growth.”

On 4 April, the President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian received a delegation led by Shen Yueyue, Vice-Chairwoman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee of China in Yerevan, Armenia. The Argentine-China Joint Hydropower Project will build two dams on the Santa Cruz River in southern Argentina. The above examples vividly explain the BRI in countries having a diversified interest in China.

It is a real opportunity to strengthen UK-China cooperation in addressing fundamental challenges in the next 20-30 years, which can be divided into three phases. There are three phases to improve UK-China cooperation on the BRI, including setting up a BRI Expert Board, building BRI funds, and building networks through the Infrastructure Financing Exchange. Britain believes that the Belt and Road Initiative has tremendous potential to spread prosperity and sustainable development, touching as it does, potentially 70 percent of the world’s population, a project of truly epic ambition”.

A steady progress has been witnessed between China and Poland in regard to the BRI. German business circles have shown growing enthusiasm toward the Belt and Road Initiative.

Around 152 countries and international organizations in Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas have joined the BRI, which is a major success. China has realized the great investment for the world at large. The initiative looks global and all encompassing. The broad catchphrase to describe almost all aspects of Chinese engagement abroad. The Belt and Road Imitative describes Chinese contribution to the world.

So far China has spent over $210 billion in building projects in Asia alone. The Chinese are keep busy in building other projects in Asia and beyond. Chinese companies have secured $340 billion in projects in the world. Much more progress will be made. Still for many countries, China will be the chief creditor and builder. These countries have been further cementing ties with China. China has not been using these debts as a strategic leverage to settle its disputers in the South China Sea or elsewhere.

These are non-conditional loans and have nothing to do with Chinese disputes with a number of countries in East Asia. China does not want to imprint its so-called influence in any of these countries, rather it is committed to self-defense and self-sufficiency in all matters of concerned and to create a win-win situation for all contenders. This is a great yardstick to the Chinese position. It has created a great influence and created more people than enemies. The economic strategy to the BRI has created more friends and this trend is going well.