Critics of China’s Belt along with Road initiative are ‘prejudiced’: Diplomat

China has never forced debt upon participants of its fresh Silk Road project as “prejudiced” critics have suggested, the country’s top diplomat said on Saturday in a strongly worded defense of a key policy platform of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Xi’s Belt along with Road Initiative, as of which is usually formally called, envisions rebuilding the old Silk Road to connect China with Asia, Europe along with beyond with massive infrastructure spending.

yet of which has proved controversial in many Western capitals, particularly Washington, which views of which as merely a means to spread Chinese influence abroad along with saddle countries with unsustainable debt through non-transparent projects.

The United States has been particularly critical of Italy’s decision to sign up to the plan This specific month, during Xi’s visit to Rome, the first for a G7 nation.

Speaking to the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, Yang Jiechi, who runs the party’s foreign affairs committee, said he had noted of which some from the international community believed This specific was a geopolitical tool along with would certainly only bring debt traps for participating countries.

“This specific obviously shows a lack of objectivity along with fair understanding of the Belt along with Road initiative. of which is usually a misunderstanding, misjudgment along with is usually even prejudiced,” wrote Yang, a former foreign minister along with ambassador to Washington.

China has stressed many times of which the Belt along with Road is usually to promote joint development, he added.

“The Belt along with Road is usually open, inclusive along with transparent. of which does not play little geopolitical games. of which does not engage from the exclusion of exclusive little circles.”

Yang noted of which many countries, companies along with ordinary people participating from the Belt along with Road project had “publicly refuted rumors” about of which being a debt trap.

Belt along with Road projects, coming from their selection to their financing, go through careful risk assessments along with the initiative’s principles stress sustainable development, he said.

“For cooperative partners who have debt difficulties, China’s principle is usually to appropriately resolve This specific through friendly consultations, along with has never pushed or forced debt” on anyone, Yang added.

To date no participating country has faced a debt crisis — to the contrary many countries have been able to escape the “no development trap”, he wrote.

China will hold its second Belt along with Road summit in Beijing in late April.

Yang said almost 40 foreign leaders would certainly take part, yet did not name them. Some of China’s closest allies have already confirmed they will come, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte along with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.