WASHINGTON — The economic initiatives China is undertaking have fulfilled people’s hope that China will be a responsible stakeholder playing a positive and constructive role in the international system, said a US business leader.
China’s globally beneficial initiatives
“The Belt and Road Initiative is a tremendously beneficial initiative for the world and for the United States,” Stephen A. Orlins, president of the National Committee on US-China Relations, said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua over the weekend.
“It’s wonderful because those investments are going to lift tens of millions, hundreds of millions of people out of poverty,” he said. “That’s just a fundamental positive role.”
Orlins explained that in those places that are actually breeding grounds for terrorists, it is far less likely that terrorism will be bred when the people there get rid of poverty.
As for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), it is “a very practical step toward fulfilling the vision of a harmonious world by making investments in countries that need economic development through a beautifully transparent global institution,” said Orlins, who visited the bank two weeks ago with a group of US congressmen.
“It’s a remarkably open transparent global leadership that’s headquartered in China. But it is not a Chinese institution. It’s an international institution,” added the US business leader.
“I believe the Belt and Road Initiative; I believe AIIB. I think that the Belt and Road Initiative is exactly what China should be doing,” he said. “Positive influence has been shown in places where the people need economic development, where a recreation of the Silk Road is actually a wonderful concept, because economic development will follow that road both in China and in those places.”
“I would expect the US companies that are already working with Chinese companies to continue to work with them outside of China” within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, Orlins said.
Both strong and peaceful
Speaking of the ongoing 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in Beijing, Orlins hailed President Xi Jinping’s vision to make China strong and peaceful.
“A strong China is really a reflection of its history that for 150 years, there were countries who had exerted extraterritorial privileges in China,” said Orlins.
“President Xi said that era is over, and we are going to be a strong nation. But he added that China is not going to seek to infringe on anyone else’s sovereignty,” he added.
Orlins noted that China believes in sovereignty and will not allow anyone to infringe on its own sovereignty, but at the same time “China will not be going out and projecting its military power in such a way that it’s going to infringe on the sovereignty of others.”
“It’s very consistent with my view of Chinese history tradition and culture that for centuries China built the Great Wall not to attack anybody but to keep invaders out,” he said.
“History does not generally suggest that China attack foreign countries,” he added. “It’s peaceful.”