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Belt and Road Is Defining the Agenda for the World

May 23, 2017 (EIRNS)—Reverberations from the May 14-15 Belt and Road International Cooperation Forum in Beijing continue to be felt in every corner of the globe, as the word "gets out" that there is an alternative to geopolitics and economic collapse already underway in which all are invited to participate.

Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post pointed in its editorial today, to the Belt and Road as "a way for Japan and China to repair ties." This is a way to build the mutual trust required to establish "a sustained improvement" in Sino-Japanese relations otherwise hung up on "unresolved historical issues," complicated also by Japan’s "warming ties" with Taiwan.

"The disclosure of a conciliatory personal letter from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to President Xi Jinping, delivered on Abe’s behalf after the recent Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, is therefore a welcome development,"

the SCMP wrote. Abe’s letter is said to have proposed that mutual state visits should be arranged between the two leaders. SCMP suggested, that while the enthusiasm of Japanese businessmen for the Belt and Road is a factor, Abe’s letter may also have been prompted by the improvement in US-China relations, as indicated by Matt Pottinger’s participation in the Forum and the creation of an American Belt and Road government-business working group.

"The belt and road plan could be a starting point for China and Japan in the further normalisation of their relations.... If it is instrumental in paving the way for talks between Japan and China, that would be a bonus for the region,"

SCMP concludes.

It is in Europe’s interest to participate, too. In his latest article in Forbes magazine, enthusiastic New Silk Road supporter Wade Shepard, who has been traveling the B&R for two years preparing a book on the project, hailed the BRI for "its brash disregard for the established geopolitical divisions of the world." Monarchies, democracies, dictatorships, theocracies and even "borderline failed states" are welcome, as long as they are "willing to step up to the table and do business." Wade suggests Europe stop worrying about the transparency of China’s markets.

"The BRI is making Europe relevant again, one trans-Eurasian rail line, financial district, and revitalized port at a time.... [T]he BRI also offers Europe economic and infrastructural opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t exist, opportunities which, if leveraged properly, could help boost Europe back up on its pedestal."

Not to be left out, the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) is "delighted" with the prospects coming out of the B&R Forum in Beijing in which it participated, sino.uk.com reported yesterday. The CBBC reports that it will be preparing joint reports with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation (CAITEC)

"on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to ensure that UK companies are best placed to take advantage of one of the most far-reaching global business initiatives in modern history. The BRI vision is becoming a reality, and the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing this weekend demonstrates China’s ambition for BRI."

Even those fixated on money-making are waking up. European banks should get in on this project, Alicia García-Herrero, associated with the European economic think-tank BRUEGAL and the Spanish monarchy’s Elcano Royal Institute, wrote today in an article published on brinknews.com, whose title sums up its argument: "China Can’t Finance Belt and Road Alone."

Likewise, one Tony Boyd wrote in the Australian Financial Review ("Opportunities for Business in China’s One Belt One Road"), that the Australian

"federal government’s lukewarm response to China’s massive One Belt One Road infrastructure plan should not deter Australian businesses from coming up with their own comprehensive engagement strategies."

China has "a plan," and the opportunities are there

"for bankers, construction companies, infrastructure investors, consultants, professional services firms, equity fund managers and exporters. Businesses need to understand the financial and economic implications of a co-ordinated infrastructure spending program that spans up to 65 countries,"

wrote Boyd.