CHINA-U.S TRADE WAR IMPACT ON THE BRI
Following the just concluded 2nd BRI forum in Beijing, China has come out to strongly defend its project stating that the Chinese government is “fed up” with complaints from the United States about its Belt and Road programme to re-create the old Silk Road.
The Thursday May 9th 2019 statement was made following tough criticism from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo accused China of peddling corrupt infrastructure deals in exchange for political influence and using bribe-fueled debt-trap diplomacy while speaking in London.
The Belt and Road initiative, a key thrust of President Xi Jinping’s administration, has hit opposition in some countries over fears its opaque financing could lead to unsustainable debt and that it aims more to promote Chinese influence than development.
China however, sought to tackle those concerns at a summit in Beijing last month, promising to make the programme sustainable and green and follow international standards, especially regarding debt.
According to the Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, despite the “irresponsible comments” on the programme, from the U.S, before the Forum for International Cooperation, majority of the dignitaries and heads of attended the event including some from Washington itself.
“I think this is the international community taking actual actions to cast a vote of confidence and support in the Belt and Road initiative, and the best response to the words and actions of the United States.”
In the past two days, some Americans have been “singing the same old tune”, seeking to attack and smear the programme, he added. “They’re not fed up with saying it; we’re fed up with hearing it,” he said.
“I want to remind them again, don’t overestimate your ability to create rumours, and don’t underestimate the judgement of others. If they want to, let them continue talking. We will continue getting on with things.”
The spat has fueled already tense relations between Beijing and Washington, most notably over their trade war, which the two countries have been seeking to end.
Vice Premier Liu He is expected to hold talks in Washington on Thursday and Friday aimed at salvaging a deal that appeared to be unravelling after U.S. officials accused China of backtracking on earlier commitments and President Donald Trump threatened to hike tariffs on Chinese goods on Friday.
China has to defend its image in the light of the trade war with the US and the growing concern about Beijing’s political and economic influence in Asia and Europe. Since the trade war begun, China faced domestic and international resistance and encountered setbacks in several countries.