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Q&A on China's 'road and belt' initiative

Q: Some people think China’s ‘road and belt’ initiative is the counterbalance of ‘new silk road’ of the U.S. The real purpose is to compete for the global strategic dominance and export China's overcapacity. What’s your response?

A: The ‘road and belt’ initiative has no geopolitical aims. It is built on principles of equal consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. We will respect the independent choice and preferences of other countries, ensuring transparency and openness, and will seek to align the initiative with the development strategies of other participants. We will also where possible create synergies with existing regional cooperation mechanisms. The principal objective of the ‘road and belt’ initiative is to increase economic cooperation and people-to-people exchanges. Focus will be put on trade, connectivity and investment. We seek to step-by-step build a community for win-win cooperation. It is not China's solo but a symphony performed by all countries involved. It has been echoed by over 60 countries ever since it was put forward.

Q: Some people think ‘road and belt’ initiative is the Chinese version of the Marshall Plan. What’s your comment?

A: Comparing the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative to the Marshall plan would be like comparing apples and oranges. The ‘Belt and Road’ initiative is not a geopolitical tool and cannot be compared to initiatives from over 50 years ago. . ‘Belt and Road’ is a new model of regional cooperation: it strives for the common development of countries with different races, religions and cultures, starting with connectivity and aiming to provide more public goods to neighboring countries. The ‘Marshall Plan’ had a specific historical background, political intentions and whole series of additional conditions.

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