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Spotlight: Overseas officials, experts laud China's inspiration of Belt and Road Initiative, forum
May 16,2017   By:Xinhua

BEIJING, May 16, 2017 -- Overseas experts and officials highly commented on the inspiration of the Belt and Road Initiative and a two-day forum in this regard that is to conclude here on Monday.

Characterized by extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, the Belt and Road links countries and regions that account for about 60 percent of the world's population and 30 percent of global economic output.

ACCELERATOR OF GROWTH, DEVELOPMENT

William J. Carroll, president emeritus of U.S. Benedictine University, said, "Economic prosperity is the highway on which peace runs."

"There is an old saying that 'the tide raises all boats.' Through the initiatives outlined by Chinese President Xi Jinping, all nations involved will prosper and thereby be more attuned to a peaceful and flourishing co-existence," he said.

"I can only hope and trust that the U.S. will join this wonderful initiative. As China and the U.S. continue to grow in a mutually respectful and trusting relationship, U.S. participation in the initiative seems a natural and next step," he added.

According to Oh Ei Sun, senior fellow from Singapore's Nanyang Technological University, "many countries begin to turn inwards and introduce protectionism, but as a region that relies heavily on free trade, we need China to uphold free trade and push for the finalizing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership."

"I am confident that the agreements many of the participants will sign at the forum will set us on a strong footing for the next phase of this remarkable plan," said Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in a signed article titling "Why Malaysia supports China's Belt and Road" published by the South China Morning Post on May 12.

Ahmed Sallam, former media consultant at the Egyptian embassy in Beijing, told Xinhua that Xi has proposed "a roadmap for the initiative, especially that he provided a comprehensive vision of what the initiative could achieve and how it could contribute to the world development in general."

"Whoever understands the speech of Xi very well will have confidence that the Belt and Road Initiative will lead economic globalization towards more balanced, comprehensive and harmonious development, and will work on addressing world issues through international cooperation," he noted.

For his part, Joseph Matthews, director of the ASEAN Education Center in Cambodia, said in an interview with Xinhua that China's generous contribution to the development of the region is laudable and encouraging.

"Without this, there would be no development in the region," he noted, explaining that some of the countries on the Belt and Road are under-developed and working hard to meet the basic needs of their people.

According to Stathis Karapanos Karapanos, assistant researcher at the University of Naples in Greece, China's outward investments under the Belt and Road Initiative also offer a solution to its overcapacity bottleneck. "But this does not mean it is not offering growth opportunities to other populations in a peaceful manner as well."