Yang Jiechi Updates Belt and Road Achievement, with 40 State Leaders To Attend Forum
April 1, 2019 (EIRNS)—State Councillor Yang Jiechi in a March 29 interview to People’s Daily outlined the overall benefits of the Belt and Road Initiative after six years. He stated in particular that it has been built on the idea of a new type of relationship between nations, a relationship based on mutual respect, consultation, inclusiveness and mutual benefit rather than confrontation. The BRI is also aligned with the various development plans of the participating countries and with the overall direction of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It has boosted global connectivity and delivered fruitful outcomes in improving people’s lives in the participating nations.
Yang said that this year, Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation will gather representatives from over 100 countries, including 40 heads of state and leaders of government who have confirmed attendance. The May 14-15, 2017 Forum was attended by 29 heads of state and government. The Forum will include the opening ceremony, a leaders’ roundtable, a high-level meeting, thematic forums, a CEO conference and other side events. The second Forum is expected to produce a full range of outcomes, Yang said, including government cooperation agreements and concrete cooperation projects involving participation of the business sector. It will also encourage trilateral cooperation and encourage cooperation among participating countries in third markets.
Yang pointed out that, as a result of the BRI, some countries now have their first motorways or modern railways, and many have seen an end to their continual power shortages. Through the BRI Kazakhstan now has access to the Pacific through Lianyungang. And thanks to the China-Europe Railway freight services, Chinese companies operating in Duisburg have increased from 40 in 2014 to more than 100 and the rail services have created more than 6,000 jobs there. The port of Piraeus in Greece went from 93rd place in global container traffic in 2010 to 36th place. The port employs about 10 Chinese staff, but 3,000 Greeks and has indirectly created more than 10,000 local jobs.
Chinese investment in Egypt has made it the world’s third largest producer of fiberglass. And the 82 cooperation parks built under the auspices of BRI in host countries have created about 300,000 jobs in those countries. The upcoming Belt and Road Forum will help to consolidate these gains, Yang said.
He also didn’t mince his words in addressing those who have been criticizing the BRI, calling these critics “prejudiced.” “This obviously shows a lack of objectivity and fair understanding of the Belt and Road Initiative. It is a misunderstanding, misjudgment and is even prejudiced,” Yang said. “To date no participating country has faced a debt crisis—to the contrary, many countries have been able to escape the ‘no development trap,’ ” he said.
Yang gave an interview the same day to multiple media on the Forum, with Xinhua publishing “Full Text: Yang Jiechi on the Belt and Road Initiative and Preparations for the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation” in English on March 30.