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BRI explainer: BRI is not a “debt trap”, but an “economic pie”

(People's Daily Online)    18:29, April 23, 2019

The topic of the Belt and Road Initiative is hotting up as the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) is around the corner. It is set to take place from April 25 to 27 in Beijing. During a press conference on the sidelines of the national legislature annual session on March 8, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that the BRI has created enormous opportunities for all participants, which have cast a vote of support and confidence in this mutually-beneficial program.

A 2019 World Bank report notes that the Belt and Road Initiative is largely beneficial. BRI cooperation will cut the costs of global trade by 1.1 to 2.2 percent, as well as contributing at least 0.1 percent of global growth in 2019. 

The BRI has brought tangible benefits to participating countries. For example, after the first Belt and Road Forum in 2017, China and Africa strengthen their ties and cooperation, based on equal dialogue and mutual benefits. 

Chinese funding helped to build East Africa's first motorway as well as the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway, the first trans-boundary and longest electrified railway on the African continent. As Wang pointed out, the BRI is not a "debt trap" that some countries may fall into but an "economic pie" that benefits local population. It is not a geopolitical tool, but a great opportunity for shared development.

BRI has provided opportunities for different countries. Belarus is now able to produce sedans. Kazakhstan is now connected to the sea. Southeast Asia is currently constructing a high-speed railway, and the Eurasian continent is benefiting from the longest distance freight train service. Over the last six years, the BRI has become one of the largest international cooperation platforms. More than 150 countries and international organizations have joined the initiative.

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

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