Why China Wants to Color Its “Belt and Road” Green

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We suspect that many members are not familiar with China's "One Belt One Road" initiative. The following gives good background. China has money. On my five trips to Asia, I've seen levels of construction and scale that are unimaginable in our entire hemisphere. So their investment of a trillion dollars across all of the world that is NOT this hemisphere would be something you'd be hard pressed to find normally. Find it now. China is coming into countries and giving them offers they can't refuse with essentially the same terms that would bring a smile to 'ol Tony Soprano's face…….

Why China wants to color its "Belt and Road" green
Fortune: April 27, 2019

In Beijing this weekend the big happening is China’s second “Belt and Road Forum.” A host of global luminaries—37 heads of state, International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Gutierrez, and delegates from more than 150 countries—descended upon the capital to discuss president Xi Jinping’s signature initiative to expand transit, telecommunications, and trade links between China and countries in Asia, Europe, East Africa, and Oceania.

The tone of this year’s meeting is far less triumphant than that of the first forum, held in 2017. While visiting Beijing last week, I was struck by the conciliatory language of slogans on propaganda banners and billboards touting the gathering: “Peace and Cooperation; Openness and Inclusiveness; Mutual Learning and Mutual Benefit.”

In a speech to the confab Friday, Xi sought to allay concerns that the initiative will saddle cooperating countries with unmanageable debts, create a one-way street for Chinese exports, and damage the environment. “We must adhere to the concept of openness, greenness and cleanliness,” he declared. “Operate in the sun and fight corruption together with zero tolerance.”

Global press reports have portrayed Xi’s new rhetoric as part of a “repositioning” or “retooling” of the belt and road initiative. Some have called it an exercise in “damage control.” If nothing else, it offers a fascinating case study in the ability of Chinese leaders to change course without actually acknowledging they were headed in the wrong direction. Read More

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