You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

China claims more global support for Belt and Road Initiative

LiveMint logoLiveMint 25-09-2017 K.J.M. Varma

Beijing: China said on Monday that 74 countries and international organizations have signed up to join its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), indicating “positive response and wide support” from the global community.

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) is the latest signatory to join the multi-billion dollar BRI, the pet project of Chinese President Xi Jinping, a senior official said. Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi and UN Secretary General António Guterres had attended the signing ceremony of the agreement on the BRI in New York on 22 September, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.

So far, 74 counters and international organizations have signed the cooperation document on BRI with China, he said. “This indicated that the BRI has won more positive response and wide support from the international community,” he said. The BRI, aimed at building a vast network of infrastructure projects, expanding China’s expertise and capital to different parts of the world, also includes the $50 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) over which India has protested as it traversed through Pakistan- occupied-Kashmir (PoK).

India boycotted the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) organized by China in May this year to highlight its concerns over Beijing pushing projects through PoK. There were also concerns of debt burden brought in by the BRI projects after Sri Lanka opted for long-term lease of its Hambantota port for a $1.12 billion debt swap.

Earlier, China managed to include the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road (the components of BRI) as development projects in a resolution related to Afghanistan, passed by UN Security Council in March this year. The report released by the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (Escap) had said the BRI may create “geopolitical tensions” with India and “ignite” further political instability besides fuelling the separatist movement in Pakistan’s Balochistan province.

“The BRI will serve the interests of China and the countries along its corridors more effectively if it is shaped as a collective endeavour and is well integrated into existing regional cooperation initiatives,” it had said. Lu said in the press briefing that the BRI is important platform for China to conduct cooperation with relevant countries. “It is an open and inclusive development platform. The reason why it increased support and participation from more countries and international organizations is that during the process of building the BRI, we adhered to the idea of wide consultation, joint contributions and shared benefits,” he said.

China is committed to promoting a “fair, equitable and transparent international trading and investment rule system” with countries along the BRI, he said. “We believe this initiative will inject new impetuous to the global and regional economies and help various countries to achieve common development and prosperity,” he said.

More From LiveMint

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon