Harvey Dzodin:Belt and Road Initiative changes the world for the better

October 17 , 2023

By Harvey Dzodin, a senior fellow at the Center for China and Globalization.


It’s impossible to overstate just how much the Belt and Road Initiative has changed the world in the decade since it was proposed. In many countries, too many so-called leaders say nice words that people want to hear, but few deliver on the (false) promises they make to lure the people, mostly for votes. Sadly, when the world is facing horrendous problems, such as climate change, global public health, poverty and war, some countries have chosen confrontation over cooperation, ostensibly to perpetuate their hegemony.

President Xi put forward the idea of building a “human community with a shared future” in a speech at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations on March 23, 2013. To turn words into action, later the same year, during his visits to Kazakhstan and Indonesia, President Xi proposed a very significant global initiative, the Belt and Road Initiative.

Oscar Wilde once said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Former US president Donald Trump proposed the now-forgotten “Blue Dot Network”, which unsuccessfully tried to counter the Belt and Road Initiative in sectors such as the digital economy, cybersecurity, energy and infrastructure development. Incumbent US President Joe Biden and the G7 have proposed the “Build Back Better World” initiative which one never hears about nowadays, proving that it was only a pathetic attempt to counter China’s initiative by trying to ape it. Similarly, the European Union has its “Global Gateway Project” which seems to be a highway to nowhere.

On Jan 17 in 2017, on a state visit to Switzerland, President Xi repeated his call for building a community with a shared future for mankind at the United Nations office in Geneva. Three days later, after his inauguration as US president, Trump said: “From this day forward, it’s going to be ‘America first’. ” Sadly, it still is. With so many existential threats facing humankind, why can’t we work together?


From China Daily, 2023-10-17

Keyword Harvey Dzodin