STRAITSTIMES - AUGUST 18, 2016
BEIJING (Bloomberg) - Chinese President Xi Jinping is seeking to
assuage international concern that his three-year-old signature
initiative to revive an ancient trading route linking China and Europe
is only about serving his nation's interests.
Speaking at a conference on the "One Belt, One Road" initiative in
Beijing on Wednesday (Aug 16), Xi called for a step up in the
implementation of projects to provide "a solid sense of gain" to all the
countries involved. He also requested better risk assessment and
security for the projects along the route that passes through countries
prone to wars, terrorist attacks and political instability.
The initiative, first proposed by Xi in 2013, aims at reviving the
route that connects China and Europe via Central Asia and the Middle
East, as well as a path through Southeast Asia and Africa. Critics, from
countries including Kazakhstan and India, say the main purpose of the
plan is to boost China's geopolitical influence and export China's
excess industrial capacity to overseas countries. Doubts also exist over
the feasibility and security risk of the initiative.