On July 11, co-hosted by Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China (RDCY) and The Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI), a launching ceremony and seminar on the report“Navigating the Belt and Road Initiative” was held. Based on the ASPI's investigation research on the countries along the "Belt and Road" , the report positively evaluates the original intention and significance of the BRI, and puts forward 12 policy recommendations. The English version of the report was written by Daniel Russell, former assistant secretary of state of the United States and vice president for International Security and Diplomacy at the ASPI, and Blake Berger, a senior program officer at the ASPI. The Chinese version was translated and released by the RDCY.
Wang Wen, executive dean of the RDCY, delivered a speech at the opening ceremony, saying that the release of the report is an important case of cooperation between Chinese and US think tanks. During Daniel Russell's visit to China, the RDCY provided a great deal of assistance, and Daniel Russell made great efforts to promote the healthy development of Sino-US relations.
Wang Wen stressed that Chinese version is the embodiment of the original content of the English version, although there are constructive criticisms in the report. As mentioned by Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, "Chinese departments will attach great importance to and seriously study the recommendations and opinions put forward in this report". China is open, inclusive and highly respects to the advice from the United States. This kind of serious and valuable report will provide more space for exchanges between China and the United States, Wang Wen said.
Then Daniel Russell released the report. He first appreciate Chinese government for its openness, inclusive. He said that we investigate the operation and impact of BRI in five main areas, including financial sustainability, transparency (including anti-corruption and competitive procurement), labor practices, stakeholder engagement and environmental protection. Taking this as a starting point, this paper focuses on the analysis of the main factors leading to the problems of some projects of "Belt and Road Initiative", and puts forward 12 specific suggestions and measures.
In his speech, Daniel Russell pointed out that in the study of the BRI project in Southeast Asia, it was found that the participants of the country often wanted to promote the rapid signing of the memorandum of understanding for the project. The lack of adequate feasibility analysis and more thorough investigation prior to the implementation of the project is risky. At the same time, he mentioned that the construction of BRI can learn from the development path of the AIIB in a sense. "at first, the AIIB seemed to be an opaque tool for China to promote national policy, but now it is already a trustworthy multilateral development bank."
Subsequently, Zhou Luohua, deputy dean of the RDCY, presided over the seminar. Daniel Russell, Zhai Kun, Deputy Dean of the Institute of Area Studies at Peking University, Wang Jinbin, Deputy Dean of School of Economics at Renmin University of China,Jia Jinjing, assistant to the dean of the RDCY, and Naima Green, Ph.D. Candidate at Harvard University and Visiting Scholar of RDCY, participated in the discussion. Zhao Kun, Section chief of Belt and Road Initiative Center at National Development and Reform Commission, and Lin Yongliang, Deputy directo of the China Center for Contemporary World Studies at International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, attended the meeting as observers. The scholars spoke highly of the report.