China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) must be green and sustainable, President Xi Jinping said in opening a summit on his grand strategy, adding that the massive infrastructure and trade plan would deliver “high-quality” growth for all, ONA reports citing Reuters.
Xi’s plan to rebuild the old Silk Road to connect China with Asia, Europe and beyond has aroused controversy, as some partner nations have bemoaned the high cost of infrastructure projects.China has not said how much the ambitious plan will cost, but some independent estimates suggest it will run to several trillion dollars. Beijing has repeatedly said it is not seeking to trap countries that sign up to BRI with debt. It will use this week’s summit in Beijing to address those concerns and recalibrate the policy.
“Operate in the sun and fight corruption together with zero tolerance. Building high-quality, sustainable, risk-resistant, reasonably priced, and inclusive infrastructure will help countries to fully utilize their resource endowments,” he said.
At the first summit, in 2017, Xi said Chinese banks would lend 380 billion yuan ($56.4 billion) to support BRI cooperation. He did not give a figure for the new financing in his opening remarks at the summit, but he is schedule to give another speech, on Saturday.