The Belt and Road Initiative Rebalancing the Economic Globalization


By Muhammad Zamir Assadi

  The firm resolve showed by the Communist Party of China (CPC) in its historic 19th National Congress to build "a community with a shared future for mankind" based on inclusiveness, openness, and win-win cooperation has laid a solid foundation for peace, and diplomacy of China in a new era.

  The report presented by General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Xi Jinping emphasized on various aspects and issues prevailing domestically and internationally including global governance, sluggish global economy, the Belt and Road Initiative, one-China principle, anti-corruption campaign, poverty alleviation campaign, socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era, and others which gained prominent global attention.

  However, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the conceptualization and the visionary idea of Xi Jinping presented in 2013 termed as a new form of globalization reflecting the common wishes of billions of people across the globe.

  The reason of getting global attention for this game changer initiative is based on its five-pronged approach (meaning promoting policy coordination, road connectivity, unimpeded trade, currency convertibility, and closer people-to-people ties) which is going to transform the lives of more than 4.4 billion population of the globe in 26 countries and regions across Europe, Africa and Asia.

  The BRI, the idea of sustainable development with the notion of promoting economic, political, cultural, social and ecological development is providing a great chance for China to rise as a trustworthy global leader by creating ideas leading to global prosperity.

  The focus of the initiative listed in the report has delivered a positive and comprehensive message to the international community, especially developing and emerging economies that more energetic and aggressive efforts will be carried forward by China to execute it smoothly.

  At the eve of the 19th CPC National Congress, focus on building "a community with a shared future for mankind" has opened new chapters in the history of China's opening-up drive which has gained the attention of the international investors and financial institutions as well.

  The inclusion of the BRI into the CPC Constitution with other thoughts of Xi Jinping has created a resounding echo in the minds of international community, especially the participants of the BRI that China attaches much importance, to cultivate new ways of economic stability and prosperity for others.

  It will not be an exaggeration in stating the game changer and destiny altering initiative was also being taken as a continuation of the Chinese Dream which will not only provide a better and prosperous life to its countrymen, but to the entire world.

  It must be mentioned here that China has hosted 29 heads of states and government leaders in the First Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation this year with participants from more than 100 countries and international organizations which showed their commitment for stepping forward jointly towards attaining a shared future of mankind.

  On one side the strategic plan of the BRI is an opportunity for China to make the world a better place while on the other side, to protect the legitimate rights of developing countries already hit by the worst kind of exploitation by developed capitalist countries.

  BRI, by setting a new type of global partnership is rebalancing the planet by promoting inclusive development in international community.

  Regions along the Belt and Road are mostly emerging economies which are generally moving upward in their economic development by rejecting the voices of trade protectionism.

  The initiative has enhanced and promoted the needs of inter-regional trade and overseas investment as it has become a source of infrastructure building, roads and transportation, logistics, and the commodity industrial supply chain has been improved.


Non-hegemonic Prosperity

  Ever since, the initiative was launched in 2013, it caught the imagination of the world on account of its massive scale and futuristic, utopian vision.

  China has invested more than US $50 billion in countries along the routes since 2013, changing economic indicators in the respective economies.

  Under the initiative, 56 overseas economic cooperation zones are being developed in 20 countries by the end of 2016. It has also helped create around 160,000 jobs and transfer of latest Chinese technology and expertise.

  Unluckily, the beneficiaries or the victims of Marshall Plan championing exploitative capitalism, benefitting from the current global economic system have started smearing the initiative by terming it a strategy of Chinese expansionism and hegemonic approach.

  So called western experts and think tanks view the BRI as a tool for Chinese expansionism and hegemony, purely helping to rapidly develop Chinese economy.

  The "China threat" and "China rise" are the terms frequently being used by Western writers for hatching a vicious propaganda against BRI as they are aware that their era of exploiting developing countries is soon going to be over.

  The purpose of hatching such dramatic terms is to sabotage the message of global prosperity which is being pushed up quite smoothly and successfully in various regions.

  Comrade Xi has spoken very clearly in the report that "China will never pursue development at expanse of others' interests. China's development does not pose a threat to any other country. No matter what stage of development it reaches, China will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion.”

  China is abandoning the traditional practices of rising super powers and the Cold War mentality of hegemonic approaches by actively participating in strengthening globalization.

  History is always a best mentor and it always remains open for those who want to learn lessons by digging into it. It is not a difficult task to examine Chinese history and civilization having the treasures of over 5,000 years.

  China has never sent soldiers outside its borders for resources, colonized other countries or schemed with political blocs to confront others in order to expand.

  China, by the implementation of BRI is participating in the world market by peaceful means and cooperating with other countries through meaningful consultation and win-win cooperation.

  Through the development transformed by BRI, China is transcending the outdated rule of fighting for resources during rapid industrialization, and the Cold War mentality of rejecting cooperation based on ideological differences.

  Some parties believe Western logic by insisting that any empowered nation will seek hegemony, and make groundless accusations such as the "China threat" to discredit China and to misguide the member countries of BRI who are benefitting from the initiative and heading towards prosperity.

  The countries that are attacking the BRI are not the part of this initiative and their hegemonic plans are being hampered in this modern era of connectivity and win-win cooperation.

  The idea that BRI adheres to is that no one can live and progress in this century by adopting development models of past centuries, aiming for the zero-sum game mentality of the Cold War or colonial expansion.

  BRI clearly aims at peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit and since 2013, not a single example can be seen where this initiative has been misused for any kind of hegemonic plans.

  Historically, China has also suffered invasions and oppressions from big powers so China deeply understands the agony of colonization.

  Xi Jinping also talked about the Opium War of 1840 in the report, that China was plunged into the darkness of domestic turmoil and foreign aggression, its people, ravaged by wars, saw their homeland torn apart and lived in poverty and despair.

  History has witnessed that the Chinese governments were forced to sign more than 700 unequal treaties to cede territory, pay indemnities and suffer humiliation but Chinese never forced others to sign such treaties for expanding its trade or gaining the others’ resources.

  Chinese foreign policy has always been based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, namely mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual nonaggression, mutual noninterference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence, and the BRI is a continuation of this policy.

  As per the keynote speech delivered by Xi Jinping at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May this year, it is clear that this initiative has much more to offer in the coming years which will lead towards a real, sustainable prosperity across the globe.

  Following the tangible developmental plan of this initiative, it is high time to snub the anti-BRI voices rising from other parts of the world because the ultimate goal of this initiative is prosperity for all.


Muhammad Zamir Assadi is an international correspondent of Independent News Pakistan based in Beijing.

(Opinions of the author don't represent those of China Today.)