The Belt and Road Initiative

BEIJING – China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ Initiative will reaffirm its status as a major economic player in the world promoting a “shared future” with its Asian neighbors, and countries in Europe, Latin America, Africa and South Pacific away from the economic stranglehold of the West.

In the face of economic policy fluctuations in Washington, China is unfazed. This was evident when the US Commerce Department upon the order of the orange-haired buffoon blacklisted emerging 5G leader Huawei describing it as a threat to US national security. How could Huawei be a threat to US national security? The fact is Huawei products are getting better in the world market especially in the emerging 5G technology.

But the US will only hurt itself, economically. The economic pinch was felt by US firms who are supplying cellphone components to Huawei. Shares of chipmakers Qualcomm dropped over 4% while Xilinx Inc spiraled down 5% after cutting supplies to Huawei temporarily. It’s funny how US President Donald Trump was quick to throw the lifeline – not to Huawei but to poor US firms who will be affected by his obscure and fluctuating economic policy. Thus, the reprieve – allowing US firms to supply Huawei anew until August 19 this year.

Huawei has already signed agreements with the Philippines’ two leading communications giants – Smart and Globe. And the Philippines cannot simply wait for the new 5G technology.

China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ promotes unrestricted trade, policy coordination, facilities connectivity, financial integration and people-to-people bonds. The first ‘Belt and Road’ Forum was held here in May 2017 and attended by leaders from 38 countries and 6000 delegates from 150 countries and 92 international organizations. The ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative has extended from Asia and Europe to Africa, Latin America, South Pacific and other regions.

From 2013 to 2018, the total imports an export of goods between China and countries along the route exceeded $6 trillion, accounting for 27.4 percent of China’s total trade in goods. Chinese enterprises have also invested more than $90 billion in countries along the route. The turnover of contracted projects along the route exceeded $400 billion.

A World Bank research indicated the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ will increase GDP of developing east Asian and Pacific countries by an average of 2.6% to 3.9%. By the end of 2018, the agreed investment of the Silk Road Fund is about $11 billion. Its actual amount of investment is about $7.7 billion. $2 billion was also infused to the China-Kazakhstan Capacity Cooperation Plan.     China has signed 171 cooperation documents with 29 international organizations and 123 countries, according to Ning Jizhe, vice-chairman of NDRC. “We will continue to strengthen the communications with the countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, in terms of the constructions of railways, roads and airports. We will also strengthen the connections with them, in terms of policies, rules and standards and build a data silk road,” said Jizhe.

In mainland China, President Xi Jinping has clearly outlined the “Chinese Dream” and “The Two Centenary Goals.” On the ‘Chinese Dream’ he said: “We all have our own ideal and pursuit, we all have our dream, I believe that realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is the greatest goal of the Chinese nation in modern times.”

On “The Two Centenary Goals”, he said: The nation seeks to “finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respect by the time the Communist Party of China celebrates in centenary in 2021; and to turn China into a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious by the time the People’s Republic of China celebrates its centenary in 2049.”

From the view deck of Beijing Television Station’s 41st Floor, the concrete jungle that is Beijing is laid out juxtaposed with the well preserved green trees 360 degrees in all direction as far as the eyes can see. The economic powerhouse that is Beijing was squaring off with the economic overtures of the West. Under the platform of mutual cooperation and respect, China and the rest of Asia and other regions will have a beneficial shared future in the One Belt, One Road Initiative.