Belt and Road Initiative brings development and hope: Spokesperson

By Wang Hailin from People’s Daily
It’s totally ungrounded to call the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative a “debt trap”,  a spokesperson for the national political advisory body said Saturday, stressing that what the initiative brings to the participants are development and hope, rather than “debt trap” or “regional hegemonism”.
Guo Weimin, spokesperson for the second session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, refuted the unreasonable accusations on the initiative at a press conference, which was held a day ahead of the opening of the annual gathering of the national political advisory body.
The initiative has been echoed by various parties since it was put forward by China, Guo said, illustrating that over 100 countries and international organizations had voiced support or engaged in the initiative by the end of last year.
Plenty of major projects launched in related countries under the initiative framework have boosted local economic development, winning the proposal applause from the international community, said the spokesperson.
The initiative has been welcomed by more and more countries, he added.
The debt problems of some developing countries were created by complicated historical reasons, Guo pointed out, adding that in these countries, the debts resulted from China’s investment account for a very tiny part in the total amount.
China’s investments in related countries mainly went to infrastructure projects, which will facilitate local development in the long run, he explained.
When promoting development of the initiative, what China advocates is the Silk Road spirit of “peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit”, as well as the principle of seeking shared benefits through extensive consultation and joint contribution, Guo highlighted.
The initiative has won the support and acclaims from the leaders and peoples of participating countries, according to the spokesperson.
The initiative has nothing to do with “regional hegemonism”, he underlined, pointing out that China has more and more friends with the initiative progressing.
Beijing will host the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in April. Data indicated that by the end of 2018, 269 of the 279 outcomes of the first forum held about two years ago, or 96.4% of the total, have been realized or turned into routine work.

The 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) holds a press conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 2, 2019, one day before the opening of its second session. ( Photo by Chen Yehua, Xinhua)

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