Despite Beijing’s sweet coated words on its strategic Belt and Road project which will transport precious fuel and resources to its hungry industries, the project, key to Xi’s legacy, is viewed with suspicion by many countries across the globe, including Europe, India and Australia.
On Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron made it clear to China that if it wants to together with Europe its “Belt and Road” initiative cannot be a “one-way” road.
“The ancient Silk Roads were never only Chinese,” Macron told an audience of businessmen, academics and students. “By definition, these roads can only be shared. If they are roads, they cannot be one-way”.
Unveiled in 2013, the Belt and Road initiative is central to Beijing’s foreign policy goals of spreading its influence and values overseas. The project, which connects China by land and sea with its Eurasian neighbors is central to its plan of connecting and transporting vital resources for its industries.
The Belt and Road initiative connects China to Pakistan, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Middle East, Europe and even Africa.
In May 2017, faced with growing suspicion by Western capitals that the project is aimed at asserting Chinese values and influence over their own way of life, Xi pledged $124 billion to the project saying Beijing aims at spreading prosperity.