Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, May 26th, 2019

China Says Silk Road Not Geopolitical Tool, Understands Concerns

China Says Silk Road Not Geopolitical Tool,  Understands Concerns

BEIJING - China’s Belt and Road project is not a “geopolitical tool” or a debt crisis for participating nations, but Beijing welcomes constructive suggestions on how to address concerns over the initiative, the government’s top diplomat said on Friday.
Beijing will host a Belt and Road summit next week which 37 foreign leaders will attend, including some of China’s closest allies, though the United States which has been critical of the project is only sending low level representatives.
The Belt and Road Initiative, as it is formally called, is a key initiative of President Xi Jinping, and envisions rebuilding the old Silk Road to connect China with Asia, Europe and beyond with massive infrastructure spending.
But it has proved controversial in many Western capitals, particularly Washington, which views it as merely a means to spread Chinese influence abroad and saddle countries with unsustainable debt through nontransparent projects.
The United States has been particularly critical of Italy’s decision to sign up to the plan last month, during Xi’s visit to Rome, the first for a G7 nation. Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi, the government’s top diplomat, told reporters that the Belt and Road scheme had brought real benefits to participating countries.
“This partnership relationship is not a geopolitical tool, but a platform for cooperation,” he said.
“You can’t put hats like ‘debt crises’ onto the head of the Belt and Road, and this is not something any participating country would recognize,” Wang added.  (Reuters)