The Purpose of Belt and Road Initiative

Luthfil Hadi - Jakarta, 31/08/2018, 14:26


Xi Jinping, President of China said on Monday in the fifth anniversary meeting of Belt and Road Initiative that the main purpose of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is not to obtain geopolitical or military alliance, nor the setting up of “China Club”. The aim of BRI is to develop infrastructure and trading network that connect Asia to Europe and Africa. BRI is focusing in the collaboration to build the safe and efficient network trade to connect the global major ports. As for the land economic corridor that are planned to be developed are China-Mongolia-Russia, China-Middle Asia-West Asia, China-Indochina, China-Pakistan, Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar.

Railways, roads, ports, energy systems and telecommunication networks are the infrastructure that receive most attention under BRI. The development of port in Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Kenya, Tanzania, Oman and Djibouti is being handled by China. These ports will connect Piraeus, Major Ports in Greece that has been bought by COSCO, a shipping company from China. Piraeus will give the direct access to maritime and economical advantage across the India Ocean for China.

The importance of the collaboration on building the Belt and Road is more than economic cooperation, and it is one of many ways to improve the global development model and to promote economic globalization. This is what China is seeking when doing a collaboration, a win-win cooperation said President Xi.

China’s trade value has yearly growth of 1.1% with its value exceeding USD 5 Trillion. It happened from the trade and commerce done with the country involved in BRI in the past 5 years. The combined direct investment of China to those country is increasing with the average of 7.2% annually. Vice Minister of Commerce, Qian Keming said that China has become the biggest trade partner of 25 country. He said, China has also to renew 5 free trade agreement with 13 countries.

In the country along the Belt and Road Initiative, there has been an accumulation of investment with total value of USD 28.9 Billion from the 82 economic collaboration and overseas trade zone. With almost 4,000 companies are attracted to BRI, creating tax income for the country involved in BRI to total of USD 2 Billion. Moreover, BRI can create 244,000 jobs.

The supporter of BRI suggest that BRI allows the aid of economical and infrastructure for needy economy. However, critics said that China uses BRI to dominate the economy and strategy for those country. China has been criticized because they are using their massive financial assets to dominate weaker economical country by controlling the infrastructure and natural resources in long term. Critics also said that China only offers to develop infrastructure and debt agreement which highly profiting China.

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