Published: Mon, May 22, 2017
Medical | By Garry George

China invested $3.98 billion in Silk Road countries since start of year

The amount of investment planned so far for the initiative is massive - over US$1 trillion. China wanted a large turnout of world leaders to approve the project. By spending billions of dollars on developing infrastructure across the entire Asian landmass, Beijing hopes to check the influence of the West, especially the US, in what has been characterized as a profound challenge to the existing global order.

May 15-Helga Zepp-LaRouche, president of the Schiller Institute, Germany, delivered this speech today at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing.

By hosting 29 heads of state and government at Beijing Summit, Chinese leadership is quietly and systematically attracting the world community in the current anti-globalization atmosphere.

Taking advantage of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF), Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev paid an official visit to China bringing with him a slew of documents created to promote enhanced bilateral partnerships in such sectors as infrastructure, energy, agriculture and tourism.

Strikingly, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was not invited.

Looking beyond the trans-Asian train routes, the improved desert highways and the strategically positioned far-flung ports, the question is how China really sees itself in the world.

Another worry being expressed in official and unofficial quarters is that the debt liabilities would peak by additional $3-4 billion by 2022 while quantitative rate of profit for Chinese companies would be as high as $4-5 billion.

The PML (N) government however, is being urged to be transparent and reveal details of hundreds of CPEC projects so as to satisfy the public and its critics who claim that China is being provided opportunities at the cost of Pakistani businessmen and workforce.

China restricts foreign corporations' activities at home. These interventions vary in quality and effect. So, must we shut our door to Chinese investments just because of our domestic politics? Countries like Japan and South Korea have military differences with China.

This creeping assertion of extraterritoriality worries ethnic Chinese outside the mainland.

In Sri Lanka, more than 500 cataract sufferers regained sight in the end of previous year, thanks to China-made intraocular lens innovated by Eyebright Medical Group.

"The Belt and Road Initiative is an open and cooperative one". In the Philippines, China has offered help to combat piracy in the Sulu Sea, a long way away from Chinese claims in the South China Sea.

India skipped the Belt and Road forum in Beijing in opposition to the CPEC. "China wants to consolidate its position at the center of the global supply and manufacturing networks, which will be the key to the global economy over the coming decades", Australian academic Hugh White wrote recently.

In economic terms, the initiative is no magic bullet.

But investors must act quickly since the news has gone mainstream...

The Chinese OBOR initiative is cultivating a rapid explosion in commodity demand from China to OBOR member states at a time of global uncertainty and populist nationalism, which is boosting local economic growth significantly, creating employment and generating prosperity in OBOR member countries.

Its security equipment and solution have been installed in more than 150 countries and regions worldwide, including more than 50 countries along the Belt and Road routes, which covered customs, civil aviation, railway, postal logistics, border security and other areas, to help fight terrorism, maintain security and protect people's lives and property. Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a reference to the CPEC at the Raisina Dialogue in January, saying "only by respecting the sovereignty of countries involved, can regional connectivity corridors fulfill their promise and avoid differences and discord". China realizes that it is important to balance protection and development in the Arctic. Hence we can not expect a lot from these investors as they are not the driving forces now.

According to China's Minister of Commerce, over the next five years, China plans to import $2 trillion of products from countries participating in this initiative.

This is the reason why silicon wafers - a crucial component in the semiconductor chip - built for the smartphone industry come mostly from just two companies in Japan. Notwithstanding China's deep pockets, success is by no means guaranteed.

Resistance may therefore be futile. "It is usually referred to as geo-strategic, however the world "civilizational" better fits here, even though China tries not to show it off", reads Professor Maslov's analytical article for Sputnik. Some leaders are lining up behind him, but while many are keen for an injection of Chinese money, fewer are ready to accept Chinese leadership. In fact, European Union participants echoed these sentiments by blocking a statement at the Belt and Road Summit on trade, on the grounds that it was not based on "transparency and co-ownership".

"Firstly they think Pakistan can not sustain without China and in terms of the military hardware and protection on Foreign policy especially against India that China provides". With the new references, it seems like it is trying to convince countries that are party to OBOR that getting close to China might be a bad idea.

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