Executive Intelligence Review


China Transforms Lives in War-Torn Countries Along the Belt and Road

May 30, 2018 (EIRNS)—Through its Belt and Road Initiative, China is playing a prominent role in international humanitarian efforts in the fragile war- and conflict-torn regions along the Belt and Road, according to Peter Maurer, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) speaking in Beijing yesterday, People’s Daily reports.

At a press conference at the Center for China and Globalization, Maurer stressed that China’s actions are key in terms of preserving world peace and fostering economic development. Some nations and regions along the Belt and Road are suffering humanitarian crises, and “Investors from China are not only neutral actors, but a humanitarian mediator in the war-torn areas.” He continued, that

“Development is endangered by the acute social tensions such as wars, corruption, poverty and poor governance. The Belt and Road Initiative is about development, and development requires stability and peace.”

China’s Commerce Ministry reports that Chinese investment in 59 countries covered by the Belt and Road totalled $14.4 billion last year. Chinese construction firms overseas have, in fact, been changing the lives of ordinary people through projects large and small. In Ethiopia, for example, where the world’s largest 500 KV power transmission and transformation project has been completed by the State Grid Corporation of China, some 300 km of village roads were built during that project’s construction. This helped create 15,000 jobs for local residents, and the project also set up ten playgrounds for local schools, according to Yu Naichun, a general manager with the group.

In Angola, former military men were offered new opportunities through an occupational school set up by CITIC Construction. In Myanmar, it also established 100 public welfare funds, 50 primary schools, and 50 clinics. CITIC information officer Yan Li told a forum in January,

“It has become a common practice for Chinese companies to build basic infrastructure projects overseas for free during the construction of bigger ones to boost project efficiency and improve people’s livelihood.”