The BRI is open to every country in the world: expert
Published: Nov 22, 2023 06:03 PM
The Linjia 7 Salon in Beijing on November 21, 2023. Photo: Courtesy of the China Public Diplomacy Association

The "Linjia 7 Salon" in Beijing on November 21, 2023. Photo: Courtesy of the China Public Diplomacy Association

"The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is the most open initiative in the world, for everyone, for every country," Hu Biliang, executive dean of the Belt and Road School at Beijing Normal University, said at a salon in Beijing on Tuesday.
The "Linjia 7 Salon," organized by the China Public Diplomacy Association, discussed the BRI and the international situation with journalists from various countries. 
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the BRI proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Recently, the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was successfully held, with the attendance of representatives, including heads of state, government chiefs and senior officials, from over 140 countries and 30-plus international organizations.
Since the proposal of the BRI, Western countries have put forward many similar initiatives, such as Europe's "Global Gateway" and the US' Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment. In response to how to deal with other initiatives, Wang Yiming, a professor from the School of International Studies at Renmin University of China, believes that China has three unique points: First, it is not just a powerful manufacturer power; it has almost all the company categories of industries in the world. Second, China has consistent policies. Third, China is willing to cooperate. Therefore, China has the ability to continue to promote the BRI and safeguard the interests of participating countries, contrary to what the West, particularly the US, claims to be a "debt trap."
During the meeting, infrastructure and transportation were mentioned, two prominent aspects of the BRI. The first high-speed railway in Indonesia, the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway, was officially put into operation in October. The operation of railways such as the China-Laos Railway, Hungary-Serbia Railway, Mongolia-Russia Railway and Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway has made railway construction an important aspect of jointly building the BRI and international capacity cooperation.
In early 2023, with the official opening and operation of the Lekki Port in Nigeria, the largest deepwater port in West Africa, built by a Chinese company, the largest economy in Africa finally ended years of history without a deepwater port. At present, 52 African countries and the African Union Commission have signed BRI cooperation documents with China, making Africa one of the most important continents participating in the initiative. As Hu said, in the face of different situations in more than 50 countries, the Belt and Road projects will also be promoted according to the specific circumstances of each country. China is very happy to cooperate with every country in the region.
During the exchange, a Syrian journalist expressed recognition of China's diplomacy, saying that the general idea is that China is a country that abides by its principle of not interfering in the affairs of other countries. Wang Yiming, the professor, compared China's relationship with Western powers to "Tai Chi." He said China is not boxing with other countries. The idea of China and the West being in confrontation is more of a European and American perspective. China's relationship with other countries should be more like Chinese Tai Chi, which means cooperation in harmony. China is not afraid of competition and has always been seeking opportunities to cooperate with the West because it is a win-win situation.
"I've been here for 4 months, and now I love China like my second home. We see that China is going forward to be the greatest nation in the world," a Kuwaiti journalist shared his feelings at the salon. Professor Wang Dong from the School of International Studies at Peking University said the Chinese way to modernization and its implications are for all the developing countries around the world.