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Wang Yiwei: Secret of success of Belt and Road Initiative


by Wang Yiwei    Source: Xinhua 

The Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative is addressing the world’s major concerns and the historical issues that hinder development, while playing a vital supplement role to the current international governance mechanism.

This is the secret of success of the initiative, according to Wang Yiwei, senior researcher at Chongyang Institute for financial Studies, Renmin University of China.

In his recent article, he wrote, the causes of the current world chaos are poverty and less than fair distribution. And the B&R Initiative points direction for solving these two issues by focusing on policy coordination, connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bonds, he said.

By June 30, 2016, China has established the Policy Coordination at different levels with countries along the Belt and Road, issued B&R joint statements and signed relevant MOUs or agreements with 56 countries and regional organizations, he said.

From October 2013 to June 2016, there are 38 infrastructure projects with exemplary functions undertaken by Chines enterprises, benefiting 26 countries along the Belt and Road. Up to 40 major energy projects were also signed, involving 19 countries along the Belt and Road.

Over the past three years, China`s trade volume with these countries  amounted to 3.1 trillion U.S. dollars, accounting for 26 percent of its total; investment in them, mounted to 51.1 billion dollars, accounting for 12 percent of the total amount of FDI of the same period.

Besides, 52 economic and trade cooperation zones were built in 18 countries, 13 of which have passed assessment, with an investment value up to 15.6 billion U.S. dollars having been realized.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank(AIIB) approved the first four projects with 509 million dollars in loan on June 25, 2016.

By June 30, China Development Bank has established more than 900 B&R project repositories involving over 60 countries.

The Export-Import Bank of China is promoting more than 1,000 projects in 49 countries along the Belt and Road.

Meanwhile, the initiative has promoted the RMB internationalization as China has set up clearing banks in seven countries along the Belt and Road, with the amount of cross-border RMB settlement surpassing 2.63 trillion yuan.

China has been actively carrying forward the spirit of friendship and cooperation.

As a Chinese saying goes: connectivity removes aches. Under the B&R Initiative, countries may interconnect with each other and supplement the weakness in economic developing process. Countries may eliminate gaps between coastal and land-locked, north and south, and different domestic areas through mutual aid and interconnection, Wang held.

It is important however to emphasize that the initiative is neither to start all over again nor to challenge the international order. It is a supplement to the current international governance mechanism, he said.

First, it is a supplement to weaknesses left over from colonialism, imperialism and hegemony, especially in the African regions.

That is the reason the proposal of constructing three great networks, namely, high-speed railway network, highway network and regional aviation network in Africa, is widely welcomed in Africa.

Second, it is a supplement to weakness in global economy. After the outbreak of the global financial crisis, the world economic downturn has continued to this day. In this aspect, the initiative supplements the under-consumption, and narrows the gap between the real economy and virtual economy.

Third, it is a supplement to traditional globalization. That interconnection among countries lacking smoothness is a problem left over by traditional globalization.

The initiative attaches great importance to connectivity, linking Europe, Asia and Africa, and achieving mutual benefits and ultimate harmony.

The initiative, reflecting the oriental wisdom of providing a permanent cure and avoiding disorder, promotes inclusive world governance -- the secret of its success, Wang concluded.


Wang Yiwei  is a senior fellow of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China.

Key Words: Belt and Road   China   governance  

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