This last Sunday, President Xi Jinping hosted 28 heads of state at a two-day summit in Beijing focusing on China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI.)
China is planning to bring back the “Silk Road” to better connect Europe and Asia with more direct trade routes. The project is expected to cost $1.4 trillion and Xi pledged $124 billion.
“Spanning thousands of miles and years, the ancient silk routes embody the spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit,” said Xi to the audience of 1,500. “The Silk Road spirit has become a great heritage of human civilization.”
“Xi’s colossal program is 11 times the size of the U.S. Marshall Plan, which reconstructed Europe after World War II,” writes NBC News. “It envisions new roads, high-speed rail, power plants, pipelines, ports and airports and telecommunications links that would boost commerce between China and 60 countries in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.”
Analysts are already warning that the BRI could challenge America’s place in the global economy.
“Xi is offering a lot of money and infrastructure to a lot of recipient countries who have a pressing need for their economies to be modernized,” said Sourabh Gupta, a senior fellow at the Institute for China-America studies to Fox News. “There are real political, economic and strategic goals at stake. It is China effectively applying soft power in a very visible way. It wants to become what the United States has been until now – the leader of the world economy.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin was in attendance, along with leaders from Turkey, Italy, Pakistan, the Philippines and 20+ other countries. The U.S. sent Matt Pottinger, an assistant to the president to join the summit.
“Xi hopes the conference will cement his position as a global leader in advance of the 19th congress of the Communist Party, which he heads. The summit’s slogan is “One Belt, One Road.” For Xi, that means showing that the rest of the world is girded to China, and that all roads lead to Beijing,” writes Fox News.
Even though China isn’t an ally to every Asian and Europe country, Xi is making it clear that the country will do what it has to complete the ambitious BRI.
“We will welcome India joining (BRI initiative) as both India and China are developing,” said Chinese Consul-general in Kolkata Ma Zhanwu. “We have differences and some (of them) are of serious nature. But we should look beyond the differences and concentrate on shared interests for development.”
It looks like China has already started this project in some areas.
“The One Belt One Road project is already in action in Chongqing in southern China where a massive logistics center moves containers on to trains 24 hours a day. Chinese goods such as iPads and car parts are moved west into Central Asia, Russia and Europe. The two-kilometer-long (1.2-mile) trains travel 12,000 kilometers (7,500 miles) to Germany in 13 days,” writes The Maritime Executive. “Xi hopes to tie more than 65 countries and two thirds of the world’s population to its economy. The initiative stands in contrast to U.S. President Donald Trump promotion of “America First” and his reluctance for some existing global free trade deals.”
Author’s note: This is a massive play by the U.S. “fremeny” China to lock in trade routes with the other surrounding countries. This could put them at a massive advantage over anyone else, including the U.S. The U.S. government needs to be less distracted on silly internal matters like Comey and alleged connections to Russia.