Thursday, August 18, 2016

Xi seeks to address concerns over China's new 'Silk Road' plan


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.