China has never obliged debt upon members of its new Silk Road project—BRI (Belt and Road Initiative)—as “prejudiced” reviewers have stated, the country’s main diplomat stated in a powerfully expressed defense of an imperative policy platform of Xi Jinping, China’s President. Xi’s BRI envisions reconstructing the old Silk Road to join China with Europe, Asia, and beyond that with huge infrastructure spending. But it has been controversial in many Western nations, particularly the U.S., which considers it as just a means to extend Chinese influence abroad and weigh down countries with indefensible debt via non-transparent projects. The U.S. has been mainly critical of Italy’s choice to sign up to the proposal this month, during Xi’s trip to Rome, which is the first for a G7 nation.
Speaking to People’s Daily, Yang Jiechi—Director of the Office of Foreign Affairs of the CPC (Communist Party of China)—said he had noted that some people in the global community think that this was a geopolitical means and would only cause debt traps for member countries. Yang said, “This clearly shows a lack of impartiality and fair understanding of the BRI. It is a misjudgment, misunderstanding, and is even chauvinism.” China has stressed several times that the BRI is to endorse joint development, he added.
On a similar note, recently, France sealed multi-billion dollar agreements with China but has questions regarding BRI. France and China inked contracts worth billions of euros—counting a huge Airbus jet order—during a trip by Xi Jinping, in spite of Paris pushing back beside Beijing’s BRI. French President Emmanuel Macron needs to form a united European frontage to confront Chinese proceeds in trade and technology. Xi’s trip also presented a stage for activists looking more European act over the claimed exploitation of minorities in China.