NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The China-proposed Belt and Road
Initiative (BRI) would stimulate Africa’s growth, and African
governments should take bolder steps to better align themselves
with the opportunities it presents, said a Nairobi-based
Anzetse Were carried out an in-depth study
of the BRI after joining the African Policy Institute, a
20-year-old think tank, in 2018.
"European, North American governments still view Africa as a
poor disease-ridden, very corrupt country, but countries like
China, they see Africa as a big market, which has a lot of
economic opportunities," Were said.
Since the introduction of the BRI, China and Africa have
joined hands to build large numbers of roads, bridges, railways,
power stations and ports, helping to break the logjam of the
development in Africa, Were told Xinhua.
Among them is the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway (SGR),
the largest infrastructure project since Kenya’s independence as
well as one of the major achievements of the BRI in Africa, Were
Since opening in 2017, the SGR has transported nearly 250,000
passengers with average daily occupancy rate exceeding 97
Ten freight trains travel back and forth between Nairobi and
the port city of Mombasa daily.
The SGR has cut the transport time in half.
Another example is a ceramic factory, which was built and
funded by a private Chinese company and covers over 26 hectares,
The factory has two production lines, and 90 percent of the
employees are locals.
In the past, sometimes it would take many days to transport
machines from Mombasa to the factory.
But with the SGR, things changed, said Alex Gerishom,
administrative manager of the factory,
According to Were, the SGR not only helps struggling local
small and medium countries breathe, but also drives up land
prices and adds momentum to Kenya’s economy.
China ambassador to United
States Cui Tiankai
has denounced false claims BRI is a debt trap
WASHINGTON (Xinhua) --
Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui
Tiankai has denounced claims that the China-proposed Belt and
Road Initiative (BRI) is a debt trap.
"Some people have errantly characterized the BRI as a
potential debt trap," Cui wrote in an article published Tuesday
on the Fortune magazine’s website.
"But countries who have participated in and benefited from
the BRI have debunked such assertions."
The ambassador said Finance Secretary of the Philippines
Carlos Dominguez publicly stated that debt owed to China
accounts for only 0.65 percent of the country’s total debt, and
that Karunasena Kodituwakku, Sri Lanka’s ambassador to China,
dismissed the idea of "debt-trap diplomacy."
Cui’s article, in which he also called on the United States
to embrace the opportunities associated with the BRI, came two
days bebore the second Belt and Road Forum for International
Cooperation slated for April 25-27 in Beijing.
Cui said decisions made through the BRI framework, "from
project selection to investment and financing cooperation, are
all based on full consultation between all parties involved, and
backed by arduous risk assessment and investment feasibility
"As a matter of fact, no country has become trapped in a debt
crisis since its participation in the BRI," the ambassador said.
"Quite the contrary, it is through participating in BRI
cooperation that many countries have emerged from the trap of
underdevelopment or no development."
He cited the example of Kenya, saying that "Philip Mainga,
acting managing director of Kenya Railways Corporation, said
that the Kenyan economy and citizens have benefited from China’s
contribution to the expansion and upgrading of transport
infrastructure in the country."
According to Cui, 126 countries and 29 international
organizations have signed BRI cooperation documents with China.
Total trade between China and other BRI countries has
exceeded 6 trillion U.S. dollars, and China’s investment in
these countries has surpassed 80 billion dollars.
Chinese companies, the ambassador added, have generated over
2 billion dollars in tax revenue and 300,000 jobs for locals.
"The BRI is open, inclusive and transparent," Cui said.
"It is not a geopolitical tool, nor is it designed to form an
exclusive clique or impose any terms on others."