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Interview: U.S. expert says Belt & Road Initiative beneficial to America

Editor: zhangrui 丨Xinhua

04-26-2017 07:19 BJT

Full coverage: Belt and Road Forum for Int'l Cooperation

NEW YORK, April 25 (Xinhua) -- It is beneficial for the United States to support China's Belt and Road Initiative, a transnational network of trade, long-term investment and economic development, said a leading U.S.expert.

"I think it would be beneficial for the Trump administration to say that the United States is supportive of the Belt and Road Initiative," said Michael Swaine, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in a recent interview with Xinhua.

The Belt and Road Initiative, comprising the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, was first proposed by China in 2013. It is expected to include more than 60 percent of the world's population and more than one third of global economic output.

"The United States is not in the position, as I understand, to be able to invest huge amounts of money in the Belt and Road Initiative. It could invest expertise, it could invest a certain amount of services and things like that, that would be useful for One Belt and (One) Road Initiative. I think these sorts of things should be discussed," Swaine said.

Calling himself a "big supporter" of the initiative, Swaine said the United States government has been in recent years taken "a kind of wait-and-see attitude."

"It is not so much hostile as much as it's been...the United States is sort of 'it's a little too early to know here how viable this concept really is' and that's really led people to be cautious," he said.

"I'm very positive, I'm a big supporter of the Belt and Road. I think it's not threatening American interests. I think it could be very beneficial for the countries involved and it could be very beneficial for China," he said.

"I think it could reinforce incentives for cooperation in critical areas of the world, it can serve as a bridge for involvement by Western European countries and also by the United States. I think in concept, it is a very positive thing," Swaine said.

"This event next month is going to be the first really major event as I understand it for the Belt and Road Initiative," Swaine said when talking about the upcoming Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in mid-May, the highest level of its kind since the initiative proposed.

"So we have to see here exactly what China is prepared to do and what other countries are prepared to do in trying to support this, but I think the United States should without question support the Belt and Road (initiative)," he said.

"The United States has to be able to position itself in the global order which is not going to go away," Swaine said. "It's gonna become more globalized over time, it should not be supporting nationalist movements in Europe or elsewhere, much less in this country, that simply creates more barriers and they create more suspicion, they create more tension both domestically and internationally."


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