The president of China, Xi Jinping, elected in perpetuity at the last congress of the Chinese Communist Party – the only party that can exist in that country – is determined to move forward with the megaproject geostrategic of the “silk road”, also known as “Belt and Route” (BRI). In this project, China plans to invest one billion dollars and about 70,000 million have been invested in investments in different countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, and South America.
Washington is so concerned about Xi Jinping’s strategy that US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said it was “scary.”
“They have been the factory of the world and now they want to be the technological center of the world,” he said.
Now China wants to connect the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific from Panama, to export all its products to Latin America from there.
China is not a newcomer to the region, but now it focuses on Central American nations such as Panama. The country, with just four million inhabitants, is home to a channel that joins the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, one of the busiest commercial arteries in the world and that is relevant, from a strategic point of view, for both Washington and Beijing.
While US officials express their alarm at Beijing’s ambitions in a Western hemisphere dominated by Washington, China deploys a friendly offensive, courting Panamanian politicians, professionals, and journalists.
What is the project about? The name is taken from an ancient Chinese route that crossed Asia and entered Europe. It was a commercial and communication route – dating from the second century BC. of Christ – for which the Chinese exchanged their products, mainly silk, with the countries of Central Asia and Europe (they sold and bought textiles, precious metals, spices, and skins). It started from the current Xi’an, in central China, and crossed the bazaars of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Iraq and Turkey. There was also a maritime silk route that bordered the coasts of South Asia, to East Africa. The silk route was not just a commercial route, because like the Camino de Santiago, it communicated to all peoples in the cultural and even the political. The villages went on adventures and misadventures,
What is the Xi Jinping project today? Today the Chinese communist leader is more ambitious on his route, because he wants to reach practically all of Africa, Europe, New Zealand, Australia and much of Latin America by the Pacific route. Also the Arctic! He does not try North America, neither Japan nor South Korea, for the strong opposition he has encountered, especially in the United States and Canada, for the trade war they have with China.
Along its routes that link the main capitals of the different Asian and European countries, China wants to provide countries with good communication routes (roads and highways), ports and airports, good energy pipelines (gas pipelines and pipelines), Power plants, financial centers such as the Asian Development Bank, among other banks in China, and especially good connections with the new technologies dominated by China, courts, etc.
China, surplus liquidity because of its spectacular economic development, could undertake these investments, especially in the countries of Southeast Asia and Central Asia, developing countries whose economy finds it difficult to enter the world markets, which accept with Easy Chinese investments. And what is important, China never asks what policy the governments of the countries follow, nor if they respect human rights, or at what level of debt each country in question is.
In high technologies, China expands the 5G technology of the technology giant Huawei. Three decades ago it was unthinkable that China was today the second world economic power, being a poorly developed country in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, which begged for development and industrial and technological assistance.
At first, this Belt and Road project seemed impossible, but the investments have begun and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (where China plans to invest about 40 billion euros) already works, and in Djibouti (Horn of Africa) China already has its First military base. It has not been difficult for China to convince its neighbors in the Indochina peninsula (Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Malaysia, as well as Indonesia, Bangladesh, Mongolia, Montenegro … all of them in need of transport infrastructure and new information technologies, as well as technologies for agriculture and industry.
But not only these countries, but also Russia, which is the country that, along with Pakistan, has received more financial aid from China. And if countries have liquidity problems, China asks them to operate an airport or a port, as in the case of Sri Lanka.
The new silk route, the great strategic project of Xi Jinping began in 2013. In the spring of 2017 the first summit of countries involved in the silk route (the Forum Belt and Road) was held and multimillion-dollar investments were announced.
The second summit, held in the second half of last April in Beijín, Xi Jinping has tried to correct errors that had been recorded in the investments. And he announced, both he and representatives of the Chinese economic institutions:
1.- Zero tolerance for corruption (doubt detected in several investments).
2.- Investments and cooperation must be “open, green and clean”, in recognition that some investments such as in Vietnam and Argentina suffered from a lack of environmental studies.
3.- The Chinese currency, the yuan, will not be devalued, if it harms others. Xi responded to the United States asking for a stable currency.
4.- Xi asked developed countries to also participate in investments, and several countries such as Japan, France, Canada, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands, among others, signed a document to build infrastructure in developing countries.
5.- Regarding debt, sustainable aid was established for countries with foreign debt.
6.- Investment projects must have a “high quality”, which was not required in 2017, and “market-oriented”.
This project has the main criticism of developed countries: does China want with its new silk route to dominate the world? China responds that it is a great opportunity to increase the development of less favored countries.
Undoubtedly, the trade war between the United States and China has a lot to do with the new silk route
China seeks to expand investments in Mexico
Financial and business institutions in China said there is an excellent investment environment in Mexico and announced that they are looking to help with large-scale projects and increase financing for Mexican companies.
As part of the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China , in the Mexican Senate , the president of the Industrial Bank of China in Mexico , Chen Yaogang , informed that since this financial institution was established in Mexico in 2016 , has granted more than 800 million dollars in financing.
This figure, he said, is expected to reach two billion dollars over the next five years.
Yaogang announced that this bank has the firm conviction of exploring new business areas to promote bilateral trade and investment, provide more funds and credit support to Mexican companies, and assist in large-scale projects to generate more jobs and capital in both countries
It should be remembered that until the end of the first half of 2018, China’s investment in Mexico reached 153.7 million dollars, while the accumulated from 1999 to 2018, is one thousand 26 million dollars, according to the Association of Entrepreneurs of Zhongua in Mexico.
In a statement, it was stated that subsequently, the president of the Bank of China in Mexico, Xin Shawen, highlighted the excellent investment environment in the country and the great opportunity it represents.
We want to support Chinese companies to invest here . ”
He said he met with representatives of more than 10 high-ranking companies in his country ” to discuss that they come to invest in Mexico ” and recalled that this bank helped more than 50 national companies to get more Mexican products to enter the Chinese market.
In turn, the head of business of the Chinese Embassy in Mexico, Lin Ji, hoped that the Foreign Investment Law will be passed in that country, which implements political measures of greater openness abroad and investment protection in the Asian country.
This, he said, is of great importance because it will generate economic and social development for the nation, and at the same time the various countries, including Mexico, will have protection for their investments.
The advisor to the general direction of political coordination of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jorge Luis Olivares, highlighted Mexico’s interest in strengthening ties of friendship with China, especially to strengthen the tourism image through embassies and consulates.
In turn, the general director for Latin America of China Hoy Magazine, Liu Shuangya, considered that this meeting will allow information exchange on both countries to further strengthen ties in the future.
In turn, the president of the Foreign Relations Commission, Héctor Vasconcelos, said that China is one of the countries with the greatest interest for Mexico.
The whole range of relations puts that country at the center of our contacts with the outside world . ”
Source: notimex, bbc, poresto, heraldo de mexico
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