China pitches ‘One Belt, One Road’ by telling other countries they have nothing to fear – by Nathan Vanderklippe (Globe and Mail – May 15, 2017)

Have no fear, China’s top political leader urged Sunday: in a world of sectarian strife, poverty and rising isolationism, Beijing has an answer that can bring new wealth by tearing down old barriers.

China’s One Belt, One Road initiative is “a project of the century,” President Xi Jinping said Sunday in a major speech at the outset of a two-day conference that gathered together presidents, cabinet ministers and investors from 130 countries. Among them was Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Canada’s parliamentary secretary to the Minister of International Trade, who came, she said, as part of Ottawa’s new push for “deepening ties” across the Pacific.

She joined what Chinese state media declared “the most prestigious international assembly China has ever inaugurated,” a moment for the world’s second-largest economy to sketch its vision of future global growth inspired by the China model, and funded with Chinese money.

Mr. Xi on Sunday sought first to allay fears that his plans will privilege China’s economic and political interests at the expense of others, promising the creation of “a big family of harmonious co-existence.”

“We are ready to share practices of development with other countries,” he said. “But we have no intention to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs, export our own social system and model of development, or impose our will on others.”

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