Source: Global Times Published: 2017-5-16
China`s Belt and Road initiative has not only drawn the attention of the international community but also triggered lively discussions among the Chinese people, with many expecting more contact with the outside world under the initiative as well as a positive impact on Chinese people`s daily life.
Some believe the initiative will help solve the refugee issue that the West is grappling with at the root, as the better connectivity will bring opportunities to the Middle East where most of the refugees are from.
Chu Yin, an associate professor at the University of International Relations, told the Global Times on Tuesday that the Belt and Road initiative offers a chance to solve the immigration problem, which the West has failed to solve.
"The immigrant problem is rooted in the instability and poverty of the countries where the immigrants came from. People there would rather stay in their homeland for regional development than escape or be attracted by extremism or religious fundamentalism if the Middle East becomes safe and prosperous," said Chu.
The West`s previous colonization of the Middle East countries has left the region unsolved problems, and recent interference has worsened the situation, so the Belt and Road initiative needs to fix the faults created by the West and increase connectivity between civilizations, Wang Yiwei, senior research fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at the Renmin University of China, said.
Some Net users are worried about potential undesirable consequences China may have to face when getting too much involved in the Middle East affairs. A Net user "Muguan" on guancha.cn, a Chinese news portal, refers to Afghanistan as an example, saying the country is the graveyard of empires as the British Empire and the Soviet Union have failed, and the US is suffering there as well, therefore China should stay away from trouble in the region. China`s Belt and Road initiative covers a wide range of territories in Central Asia and the Middle East regions.
Chinese observers, however, rebuffed such concerns as figments of worrywarts` imagination. Some Western countries encountered trouble in the region because they wanted to conquer those countries, but China by no means has the same goal, said Li Wei, an anti-terror expert at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations. "China is not an empire. What we are doing in Afghanistan is providing help and investing. The win-win cooperation will not turn the country into our `graveyard,`" Li said.
Other Net users said news reports on the just-concluded Belt and Road Forum have given them a better understanding of the Belt and Road initiative. "The Chinese and foreigners will encounter less misunderstanding if more people receive information on it through forums like this one," a Net user said on Sina Weibo.
The Chinese people will benefit from the initiative in their daily lives as well, according to a Farmers` Daily report.
They will have wine, cheese, fruit and meat from European countries to satisfy their palates as culinary exports from Europe will keep rising, read the report.
Wang Yiwei and Li Wei are all senior fellows of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China.