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Increased China-U.S. cooperation can start from infrastructure, as U.S. is welcomed to join the Belt and Road Initiative: Chinese ambassador to the U.S.

(People's Daily Online)    03:34, April 26, 2017

Infrastructure could become a prime area for increased cooperation between the United States and China, said Cui Tiankai, Chinese ambassador to the United States.

"I think infrastructure is certainly a new area of great potential for both countries. Of course, we still have to remove some obstacles and maybe some policy adjustments. But I think if both sides are committed to cooperation in this area, this could be done," Cui said on the sidelines following his keynote speech at the 2017 International Finance and Infrastructure Forum in New York on Monday.

Cui also invited Washington to join the Beijing-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

The initiative, aimed at building infrastructure connectivity, and thus boosting free trade and people-to-people exchanges across Asia, Africa and Europe, is not China's "solo show". Rather, it will be a "symphony" performed by all participating countries, the U.S. included if it chooses to join.

In other words, the initiative offers a platform for countries to join hands to cultivate fresh impetus for global growth and explore a more sustainable development path together.

The U.S. has since shown skepticism towards the initiative, with some in the US claiming it is China’s attempt to challenge the United States' “global leadership”. The U.S. has refused to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which has been established to finance Belt and Road projects.

Such concerns stem from an outdated Cold War view of the world in a zero-sum game mindset, rather than recognize the plentiful opportunities that exist for win-win cooperation.

The initiative aims to promote the construction of a fairer global economic governance system. The U.S. has nothing to lose by joining the initiative. By doing so, it will be able to secure investment to improve its own outdated infrastructure and reap the benefits of the huge business opportunities that the initiative promises to create.

The world is facing tremendous challenges such as poverty, terrorism, and energy security that cannot be adequately addressed without a China-U.S. partnership, in which better functioning of the existing international order is ensured. The participation of the U.S. in the Belt and Road Initiative would enable China and the U.S. to work more closely together to better fulfill their international responsibilities. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Shen Chen, Bianji)

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