|Wang Yi: Evaluation of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Should Be Based on Facts|
On April 19, 2019, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed at inquiry at a briefing for Chinese and foreign media held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the international community's understanding and evaluation of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) should be based on facts. 126 countries and 29 international organizations have signed BRI cooperation agreements with the Chinese side. Nearly 40 foreign leaders and representatives from more than 150 countries will attend the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, and they have cast a vote of confidence and approval for the BRI by action. Over the past six years since the BRI was put forward, the trade volume between China and countries joining the BRI has surpassed 6 trillion US dollars, with more than 80 billion US dollars of Chinese investment in those countries. The 82 overseas cooperative parks jointly built by China and the countries along the route have created nearly 300,000 jobs for locals and brought abundant development opportunities to all countries. Ordinary people also have an obvious sense of participation, gain, and happiness. At present, the theory that the BRI represents opportunities is the mainstream while win-win cooperation is the main theme. All kinds of labels such as "debt trap" are not suited to the BRI, and also will not be recognized by any of the countries concerned. One will harm others without benefiting oneself when he or she holds the mind-set that since I cannot do it myself, I will not let others do it, and if I cannot do it well, I do not want others to do it well. Wang Yi said that the BRI is an open platform, in which every country has the freedom to participate, but no right to prevent other countries from participating. The Chinese side welcomes constructive suggestions from all sides, which is the proper meaning of the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits.