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Cheng Cheng: Belt and Road is an Initiative, not a Strategy


Editor`s notes: Cheng Cheng is an associate research fellow with the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China. The following contents are based on his interview with What Works, which is Norway`s first international MOOC offered by the University of Oslo.


Cheng Cheng would like to call the Belt and Road an initiative rather than a strategy. He pointed out the differences between  “strategy” and “initiative”. The national strategy usually means the sovereign nation formulates its basic direction to its policy. Other nations, or international communities have to take or leave it. While an initiative means everybody or all the people needed to participate, to put an effort together, to work together so that we can hope for a better outcome.

"what we need to pay attention here is that with one state the Belt and Road mustn`t succeed, but with our efforts and our confidence together, we might achieve it. That is the reason why I call it an initiative”, as Cheng said.

Cheng also added, “A couple of weeks ago, we had the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing. During the forum, President Putin signed a framework for cooperation with President Xi Jinping, so we have Russia on board. the US also sent a delegate to Beijing, so we have the US on board. Just three days ago, Japan changed its attitudes and showed its willing to join the Belt and Road. So you can see if there is a strategic or geological perspective in the initiative. I am afraid the US, Japan and Russia would not want to participate at all.”  

Key Words: Belt and Road   China   initiative  

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