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Former French PM Raffarin Calls Again on France To Join China’s One Belt One Road

PARIS, Nov. 11, 2016 (Nouvelle Solidarité)—In an article posted on his blog and picked up by the Huffington Post, former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin called once again on the West and France in particular to join the One Belt One Road (OBOR) project and "become more aware how this new reality relates directly to France’s interests and alliances."

"Today China talks reality and Europe limits itself to curiosity. President Xi Jinping launched this project and took the world by surprise. It was in no way an improvisation but as often happens in China an idea imposes itself after a profound strategic reflection. The project allies a strategy and tools.... The great ‘Europe-Asia-Africa’ market has to become a community of interests.

"China is looking for large markets for its industrial overcapacities. The marginal gains of globalization are depleting themselves; growth has to be given a new impetus. In Asia, this new impetus has a name: connectivity. By assisting the 65 countries concerned to develop their communication infrastructure, both hard and soft, China bolsters its overture and going ‘up market.’ Simultaneously, it’s guaranteeing the internationalization of its currency and, in the long term, enables the transformation of its growth targeted to become more qualitative and more inclusive. This strategy means the shift from the ‘made in China’ to the ’build by China.’

"In this vision of cooperation with Europe on both of its extremities, Eurasia and Eurafrica, could allow the EU to reach its growth objective and the creation of jobs. This vast geostrategic area must become ‘a community of interest, of responsibility and of common destiny.’ ... Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang repeats relentlessly: ‘Today, not a single nation can succeed alone.’...

"In this context, the Chinese think there is a lack of interest for the common nature of humanity. Confronted with a certain vacuum of Western thought, they are preoccupied and don’t understand the worry which inspires their new influence based on their ancient civilization. The geopolitical entity of Eurasia, shaped by the great civilizations of Egypt, Babylon, Greece, India and China ... can express itself as an area of civilizational renaissance. The oceans have to find their role in this civilization which has to be also maritime. The cultural initiatives on this subject are numerous. The second edition of the cultural forum, ‘The Silk Road, A Road Toward The Other’ will take place in Lyon in March 2017....

"The AIIB represents a fantastic lever for development, a ‘Marshall Plan’ for the nations of Eurasia. This initiative, together with the New Development Bank of the BRICS and the Silk Road Fund, clearly demonstrate that China is doing what is required to achieve its objective.

"In total, in the next coming five years, China will import $10 trillion of goods and will invest over $500 billion abroad. The current rhythm is superior to the previsions of the 13th plan.

"France is following these initiatives with interest and even benevolence; however, it has now to become more aware how this new reality relates directly to France’s interests and alliances."

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