Skip to main content

Interview: Belt & Road Initiative to create better trade routes, says U.S. expert

NEW YORK, June 29 (Xinhua) -- China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is bringing plenty of excitement to Southeast Asia, a U.S. expert told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Will Doig, an urban development journalist and author of High-Speed Empire: Chinese Expansion and the Future of Southeast Asia, made the remarks on the sideline of a recent event -- "Belt and Road: Why the Chinese Model Is Winning in South and Southeast Asia" held by the Chinese Institute in New York City.

UNIQUE WAY

The BRI is more than just an infrastructure plan, Doig said, it is a comprehensive strategy that includes "hardware" as well as "software."

The BRI is a development strategy including the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, focused on increasing development and connectivity between regions and proposed by the Chinese government in 2013.

"It's about making borders between countries more permeable, creating better trade routes and creating more efficient supply chains, etc.," he said.

Having travelled along the route of the Pan-Asia railway, a crucial part of regional connectivity in Southeast Asia, Doig admitted that he was skeptical at first about the effectiveness and the local acceptance of such a program.

"I was surprised about the amount of excitement in these countries in Southeast Asia that people had," he said. "For a major power suddenly paying a lot of attention to them and wanting to invest in them in a way that most other countries have not done in quite a while."

Doig also believed that "China, more than anything, wants to get the job done."

"It (China) is pursuing a range of mutually beneficial geostrategic partnerships buttressed by development and trade," Doig wrote in his book under the Chapter "Win-Win."

LEARNING CURVE

Doig praised the progress China has made in its BRI projects.

"It's easy to forget that China has been in the global development game in a serious way for less than 10 years," Doig said. "I think that they are learning fairly quickly."

He used the example of concerns raised by local village chiefs in a city in northern Laos where a railway will pass through. The chiefs were worried because the Chinese authorities had not consulted with them before building.

"You might cut a deal with the leaders of the country," Doig said, "but a lot of the time the people you're working with are provincial leaders or even local leaders."

"The longer they're in this game, the more they're going to learn and I think that we will see these projects accelerate rather than stall," he said.

This is a bilateral communication process, Doig said, and China is willing to work with countries who are open about their concerns, whether it be on resettling displaced populations or mitigating environmental effects, he added.

MORE COOPERATION

As a journalist, Doig observed that "reporting on BRI in the West is not all that positive."

However, he believed that "if there's going to be improvement in the dialogue and in the understanding, it will probably come through private interests."

As one of the largest creators of infrastructure, China has already been involved in many smaller scale projects in the United States, but he is looking forward to more Chinese involvement in large scale projects, Doig said.

"The idea that we could somehow partner with China to help us do a lot of the work that we need to do here (is amazing)," said Doig. "If we could find ways to sort of circumvent some of the politics, there is a lot of opportunity there at least on the city level."

For example, the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) in Boston cooperated with the Chinese railcar manufacturer CRRC in an order of 284 subway cars. Cities including Philadelphia, Chicago, and Los Angles are following Boston lead in working with CRRC, said Doig.

"When you get more material outcomes that people can actually see are improving their real lives, I hope that would improve understanding between the two countries," Said Doig.


http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-06/30/c_137291702.htm

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Balochistan to establish first medical university

https://www.dawn.com/news/1366135

The Newspaper's Staff CorrespondentOctober 25, 2017QUETTA: The provincial cabinet on Tuesday approved the draft for establishing a medical university in Balochistan.Health minister Mir Rehmat Saleh Baloch made the announcement while speaking at a press conference after a cabinet meeting.“The cabinet has approved the draft of the medical university which would be presented in the current session of the Balochistan Assembly,” he said, adding with the assembly’s approval the Bolan Medical College would be converted into a medical university.Published in Dawn, October 25th, 2017

5 Shia Hazara community members gunned down in Pakistan

http://m.hindustantimes.com/world-news/5-shia-hazara-community-members-gunned-down-in-pakistan/story-CHWR4lYByRHzf2KjHjMloI.html



Five members of the minority Shia Hazara community, including two women, were killed on Sunday in an attack by unidentified gunmen in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province.This is not the first time that members of the Hazara community have been targeted in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan.(Reuters File Photo)Updated: Sep 11, 2017 00:20 ISTBy Press Trust of India, Press Trust of India, KarachiFive members of the minority Shia Hazara community, including two women, were killed on Sunday in an attack by unidentified gunmen in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province.The gunmen targeted a car in Kuchluck area of Quetta while it was coming from the Chaman border crossing area, police said.The firing took place when the travellers had stopped at a filling station to refuel their vehicle. Five people of the Shia Hazara community, including two women, died in …

China’s 'Digital Silk Road': Pitfalls Among High Hopes

https://thediplomat.com/2017/11/chinas-digital-silk-road-pitfalls-among-high-hopes/


Will information and communication technologies help China realize its Digital Silk Road?By Wenyuan WuNovember 03, 2017In his speech at the opening ceremony of China’s 19th Party Congress, President Xi Jinping depicted China as a model of scientific and harmonious development for developing nations. Xi’s China wants to engage the world through commerce but also through environmental protection and technological advancement. This includes Beijing’s efforts to fight climate change with information and communication technologies (ICTs) that it plans to export along its “One Belt One Road” initiative (OBOR). Xi may have ambitious plans, but could China be throwing up obstacles in its own way?In his speech, the Chinese president emphasized the need to modernize the country’s environmental protections. The Chinese state is taking an “ecological civilization” approach to development and diplomacy, with a natio…