Beijing charts a green footprint along the Belt and Road

Cheryl Sanders
May 20, 2017

The Belt and Road forum, as it's called, features the most world leaders in China since the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. In fact, in the last ten years, China expanded its local currency swap to more than 30 countries especially in Africa and Asia with the quest to expand the establishment of settlement banks in other countries. They asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the information. In addition, China is expected to invest a cumulative United States dollars 4 trillion in OBOR countries within an unspecified time horizon (The Economist, July 2, 2016).

A recent survey by the Iseas-Yusof Ishak Institute showed that almost 74 per cent of the South-east Asian respondents identified China as the most influential country in the region.

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. We have also collaborated on global issues such as climate change, WTO negotiations, and other areas.

Singapore, which occupies an important position along the sea route, already has a bustling seaport and a well-connected airport that are important transport nodes in the region.

Nuctech, derived from China's Tsinghua University and founded in 1997, is an advanced security and inspection solution and service supplier in the world.

Trump's previous statements and actions on globalization have made it easier for China to paint itself as a beacon of free trade, which is at odds with the country's actual behavior. China and the UAE have increased trade 800-fold since establishing formal ties in the 1980s: "from $63 million in 1984 to over $50 billion per annum in 2016", al-Jaber recently wrote in an article for Xinhua. In a way, it also gives them an opportunity to directly interact with the Chinese leadership with regards to development projects in their respective development programmes.

He also underscored the need to strengthen cooperation in ecological and environmental protection and build a sound ecosystem so as to realise the goals set by the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Bangladesh is centrally situated along the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) Economic Corridor.

Among others are a high-speed rail link from Moscow to Beijing that will reduce the current journey time from seven days to just 24 hours; and a $20 billion Moscow-Kazan high-speed railway that will have trains running at speeds up to 400 kilometres an hour.

Vietnam's president, Tran Dai Quang, used his first state visit to China to seek a boost in imports of Vietnamese farm produce, according to the Saigon Times. China is typically more closed off in terms of who the nation trades with and the terms it sets. He said Singapore could join Hong Kong and London in facilitating lending to projects aimed at improving connectivity along the trade routes.

Construction on the line, which would have been the fourth in the network connecting Turkmenistan to China and would have traversed Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, was stalled indefinitely earlier this year. More than 60 countries, listed by China, are involved in the Belt and Road, and most of the countries are China's neighbors. "We should ask ourselves: What can we offer China?" While Singapore had long trained in Taiwan, the shipment prompted a protest from Beijing, and it wasn't until January that Singapore secured its release.

Another video, starring a man who has decided this global trade initiative is the flawless topic for his preschooler's bedtime stories, pointedly notes that "any country can join anywhere", including the non-member U.S. The agreement is seen as an indication that US President Donald Trump is adopting a less confrontational approach with Beijing than he promised during last year's election campaign. That said, a paradigm shift is beginning to show up in the country, and this is specifically manifested in its breakneck progress in digital economy and trade. China, with innovative technology and superb products, has begun to provide Chinese solutions and expertise to other countries, rather than the mere made-in-China products, to realize common prosperity.

However, the issue was resolved amicably eventually, which is a testament of the resilience of the relationship between the two countries.

Meanwhile, there remains unease in parts of Southeast Asia about China's military expansion and what its growth as a regional power might entail.

Co-chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and then Head of China's Central Organisation Department (COD) Li Yuanchao, it has since been held regularly, alternating between Singapore and China.

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