Belt and Road Initiative Seeks Peace and Prosperity for All

By staff reporter XING WEN

China's Belt and Road Initiative for regional cooperation highlighted the country's economic and strategic objectives as it faces slower growth and seeks to promote new growth drives. Experts shared their insights on the initiative at the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2016 held in Tianjin from June 26 to 28. 

According to Jin Liqun, president of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the initiative is more a strategic, geopolitical issue while signals one single objective – the peace and prosperity for people.

Benedikt Sobotka, chief executive officer of Eurasian Resources Group observed that while it may be difficult to develop viable and profitable ventures, there are many such the initiative-aligned projects underway already, including ports, industrial plants and other infrastructure. "It is absolutely impressive how systematically and efficiently this initiative is being implemented." He noted.

Zhang Bingjun, corporate chairman of Tianjin TEDA Construction Group, revealed that his company, for example, has been collaborating with the Egyptian government on developing an industrial development zone near the Suez Canal. Many Chinese enterprises, Zhang pointed out, are now exploring opportunities in the international market. "The launching of this strategy is driven by the demand of Chinese companies."

China's leaders have put forward a long-term vision, said Li Daokui, dean of Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University. By investing in infrastructure development in countries along the routes, China aims to promote the flow of capital, goods and commodities across the region. If the plan is successful over the coming decades, the countries in the region "will become highly converged economically rather than be in conflict."

Jin Liqun stressed that China fully understands its responsibility. The AIIB will be involved to a large extent in funding projects in the region. "All projects which we can consider must be financially sustainable, environmentally friendly and socially acceptable," Jin concluded.