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Belt and Road Initiative: What They're Saying

VINCENZO AMENDOLA 
Italian Minister for European Affairs
During a speech at an event hosted by Limes, an Italian geopolitical magazine
"The Belt and Road Initiative MoU with China was a mistake. China under Xi is no longer what it used to be."

HUN SEN
Prime Minister of Cambodia
On claims that Cambodia is a satellite country of China
"[When] some people see China build roads, provide grants and loans to Cambodia to build roads, they say that Cambodia is a satellite country of China, and that Cambodia chooses China over this superpower or that superpower. But I want to ask them – if China doesn’t build this road or this bridge, who builds it instead?"

EDWARD LEMON and BRADLEY JARDINE
Research Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University; Global Fellow at the Wilson Center
On BRI’s impact in Central Asia
"To improve its standing in the region, China should veer away from large-scale, top-down investments and seek to work with local companies to build sustainable projects that benefit Central Asians and minimize government corruption. With a smarter, leaner Belt and Road Initiative, China may well come to be seen as a responsible actor."

VLADIMIR MILIC
Serbian activist 
On HBIS’s steel plant in Smederevo, Serbia
"We are desperate. People are coughing, you can not open the windows and even the plants are covered in dust. We can not sell our products and the majority of us are not working in the factory [...] We have protested in the streets but the government and the company are silent."

GOTABAYA RAJAPAKSA
President of Sri Lanka
On claims that Hambantota Port is a security risk
"Many geo-political analysts interpret this project as a 'debt trap' set up by China to gain control over Sri Lankan affairs. I want to prove that it is not the case."

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