B&R can be new platform for Sino-US cooperation

By Ai Jun Source:Global Times Published: 2017/5/2 23:33:39

The curtain will soon rise on the Belt and Road (B&R) Forum for International Cooperation, which will take place in two weeks in Beijing. In the more than three years since the B&R initiative was proposed, it has not only attracted attention from Asian nations, but also seen many European and African countries actively respond to it. Unfortunately, the US, the world's largest economy, has cast a cold eye on the initiative.

When US scholars refer to the initiative, they tend to show their concerns and anxiety. Speculation that China is using the initiative as a geopolitical tool to create its own sphere of influence is a major reason. Meanwhile, given the possible risks in promoting the initiative along the route, they would rather take a wait-and-see attitude for now. Even if some people think it is a decent idea, Washington would not easily endorse it just because it was raised by Beijing. All this lays bare the stereotypical US zero-sum mind-set.

Still, after witnessing the initiative becoming increasingly prosperous, public opinion in the US is subtly changing from being against it to attaching more importance to studying it. Quite a few US enterprises are even hoping to join it and share the benefit.

They will be welcomed, as Chinese President Xi Jinping told his US counterpart Donald Trump during the Mar-a-Lago meeting in early April, "China welcomes the US side to participate in cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road initiative."

Joining in the initiative could turn out to be a lucrative choice for Washington. The US will be able to attract more Chinese investment to boost its own manufacturing industry. It will also be able to carry out more cooperation with Beijing in third countries, which will help the US explore new markets and contribute to its employment growth.

More significantly, amid all the divergences and conflicts between Beijing and Washington, the two can get along well with each other through such collaboration, find their positions in the global arena in the current era and elevate their mutual trust to the next level.

The US has always had great influence in the region along the Belt and Road. If it wishes to maintain such weight, there is no other alternative than proactively taking part in regional cooperation in the area. The B&R initiative was never aimed at excluding or marginalizing the US, but to create a new platform for Sino-US collaboration.

If the two countries can jointly promote it, the initiative will be bound to lay a solid foundation of peace and stability not only in the region, but also across the world.

Will Trump, whose business is all over the world and has dozens of trademarks in China, neglect all the economic and political benefits? Beijing has already extended the invitation, and how the US will respond is worth observing.

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