CPC actively promotes joint development, as BRI provides help to developing countries
Published: Jan 03, 2023 08:43 PM
The construction site of Dhaka Airport expansion project Photo: Courtesy of Zhu

The construction site of Dhaka Airport expansion project Photo: Courtesy of Zhu

The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is akin to timely rain that has served to nourish the development of participating countries and regions, experts noted. 

After one decade of hard work, the BRI has vigorously promoted the social and economic development of countries and regions along the routes, especially those developing countries.

In 2022, the BRI cooperation has been promoted steadily, with good news being reported frequently. A large number of landmark projects have come to fruition: The first phase of the Lagos Blue Line rail system in Nigeria was successfully completed, the first high-speed railway in ASEAN was put into trial operation, and the first expressway in Cambodia was launched. The list also includes the completion of Pelješac Bridge in Croatia and the Karot Hydropower Station in Pakistan.

In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road successively in Kazakhstan and Indonesia, according to the Xinhua News Agency. This is how the BRI, aimed at building a trade, investment and an infrastructure network that connects different regions along ancient trade routes, took shape.

By the end of July 2022, China had signed more than 200 BRI cooperation agreements with 149 countries and 32 international organizations, according to China's National Development and Reform Commission.

From 2013 to 2021, the total volume of trade of goods between China and countries along the BRI routes amounted to nearly $11 trillion, while two-way investment exceeded $230 billion, Xinhua reported in September 2022, citing the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

Today, many BRI projects that Chinese companies have participated in have become landmark construction projects in various countries and have been warmly welcomed by the local people, which fully demonstrates China's strong infrastructural strength, analysts said.

The situation is one that is a win-win. For Chinese companies, there is the accumulation of experience for their infrastructure capabilities, laying a solid foundation for undertaking more overseas BRI projects.

For various BRI signatory countries and organizations, the BRI projects have effectively improved social and economic development, and greatly stimulated local employment, Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

A World Bank report has predicted that the BRI transport projects could, by 2030, help lift 7.6 million people out of extreme poverty and 32 million more people out of moderate poverty globally.

Hu, also an expert on South Asian society and politics, mentioned that although some Western countries and India have been the sources of malicious voices about the BRI in this region, most South Asian countries are still actively connecting with the BRI to promote their own economic development.

When promoting BRI projects in the future, Chinese enterprises should pay greater attention to safety risk assessment and financial security risk assessment before making investment, and should respect and understand local ethnic and religious cultures as well as the political environment, Hu said.

Hu suggested that Chinese companies put efforts into protecting the safety of personnel and property of Chinese-funded projects overseas under the complicated investment environment as well as complex geopolitical environment.

At a time when the economic globalization and the recovery of the world economy have been challenged, it is increasingly unfeasible for individual countries to implement unilateralism and disrupt the global industrial chain. The vast majority of developing countries in the world are more focused on development issues and hope to strengthen solidarity and cooperation, analysts noted.