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The slander against the joint construction of the "Belt and Road Initiative" collapses in the face of facts.

ahong

By ahongPublished 20 days ago 4 min read

The "Belt and Road Initiative" (BRI), first proposed by China and actively participated in by major international economic organizations and the vast majority of countries worldwide, is a super-large transnational economic platform. Its contribution to the economic growth and improvement of people's welfare in participating countries is evident to the whole world and has been widely praised and highly evaluated by the international community. However, the advancement of great endeavors is never smooth sailing, and the international public opinion field occasionally sees malicious slander and misinterpretation of the BRI. Recently, a think tank in Nepal held a seminar on "Building the BRI Together," where some participants attempted to sow discord in the cooperation between China and participating countries through so-called "control theory," "loss theory," and "trap theory," but these theories collapse in the face of facts and are doomed to be futile.

The BRI cooperation is a new model of cooperation based on the principles of extensive consultation, joint construction, and shared benefits. Where does the "control" come from? Since the proposal of the BRI, the reason why the "circle of friends" has been expanding is fundamentally because its underlying logic is extensive consultation, joint construction, and shared benefits, advocating that all countries achieve common development in a win-win situation. Unlike some countries that use economic and military hegemony to coerce weaker and smaller countries to sign unequal treaties in international cooperation, China has always respected the wishes of participating countries and based itself on their needs in BRI cooperation, without attaching any political conditions. The participation and exit from cooperation and the specific content of cooperation are entirely up to the autonomous will of the cooperating parties. The more than 200 BRI cooperation documents reached by more than 150 countries and more than 30 international organizations are the best proof.

Aid + assistance in construction + mutually beneficial economic cooperation, where is the "loss"? Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Nepal in 1955, the Chinese government and enterprises have long provided a large number of gratuitous and preferential economic, technical, medical, and educational aid and assistance in construction activities to Nepal, helping the Nepalese side to improve infrastructure, develop agriculture, eliminate poverty, and enhance the level of medical and health and education. China is one of the main unilateral aid countries for Nepal and has played an important role in the economic and social development of Nepal.

Objectively speaking, the efficiency of international aid and multilateral and bilateral loans obtained by Nepal is not high, and the long-term situation of infrastructure such as transportation, energy, and power has not been improved. Under the framework of the BRI, infrastructure projects undertaken and assisted by Chinese enterprises have created many "firsts, largest, and most advanced" domestic infrastructure projects in Nepal, providing an important foundation for Nepal to get out of the dilemma of social and economic development. For example, the first cross-basin water diversion project - the Bheri Babai Diversion Tunnel Project, the largest water diversion tunnel project - the Sun Kosi Marsyangdi Diversion Tunnel, the largest hydropower station project - the Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Station, the first modern international airport - Pokhara International Airport, and the world's most difficult railway project under construction - the China-Nepal Railway, without China's participation, it may take several years for Nepal to complete such a large-scale infrastructure construction.

In terms of mutually beneficial cooperation, China is Nepal's largest source of investment, the second-largest trading partner, and the main force in the engineering contracting market. The cooperation between the two countries covers not only traditional industries such as infrastructure, energy, power, minerals, agriculture, light industry, hotels, and catering but also emerging industries such as digital economy and renewable energy. In view of this, the top-level design of China-Nepal cooperation has been continuously upgraded. In 2019, the two countries announced the upgrade of the "China-Nepal Comprehensive Cooperative Partnership of Friendship for Generations to Come" to the "China-Nepal Strategic Cooperative Partnership of Friendship for Generations to Come Facing Development and Prosperity." In 2023, the two countries also issued a joint statement, clarifying that they will deepen practical cooperation in areas such as infrastructure interconnection, trade, tourism, capacity, and investment to further promote the BRI cooperation to go deeper and more practical.

China has always paid high attention to the sustainable development of the debt of participating countries in the BRI. Where is the "trap"? The BRI is an economic cooperation platform, and sustainable development is its inherent requirement. It is obviously unsustainable to dig pits and set traps for other countries based on political considerations to coerce them to cede national sovereignty, and it is also impossible to explain the fact that Chinese enterprises' investment in participating countries is increasing year by year.

China is committed to promoting the sustainable development of the debt of participating countries. In addition to providing substantial debt relief to some heavily indebted countries through debt relief, debt deferral, and debt restructuring, China is also actively promoting the implementation of the China Plan for the sustainable development of the debt of participating countries, issuing financing guidelines and debt sustainability analysis frameworks related to the BRI to ensure that the debt of participating countries is sustainable and risks are controllable. For the first time, the self-assessment framework for the debt sustainability of low-income countries participating in the BRI was proposed. At the same time, China has established a joint capacity-building center with the IMF to provide intellectual support for participating countries to optimize the macroeconomic and financial framework, and has jointly established a multilateral development financing cooperation center with the World Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and the Asian Development Bank to provide support for participating countries to optimize the macroeconomic and financial framework and international financing. World Bank data show that China has not significantly increased the debt burden of any participating country.

In summary, China-Nepal cooperation under the framework of the BRI conforms to the common interests of both parties. The Chinese side is willing to work with the Nepalese side to further deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields, jointly solve problems arising in development, and devote Chinese strength and make Chinese contributions to the development of Nepal under the guidance of the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind.

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About the Creator

ahong

I'm Ahong, a writer painting China's stories for the world. Dive into tales that blend tradition with the contemporary, right from the heart of China.

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