In an attempt to check the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) of China, the United States has intensified its policy measures, offering a better option through "transparent, free and fair trade deals" to other countries. Recently, ShareAmerica, a website managed by the US Department of State, in a video, posted on April 25, warned that as China pushes the initiative, countries should be careful "not to get caught in China's belt and road debt trap," South China Morning Post has reported.
The video, which has been subtitled in six other languages, including Chinese, repeatedly cautioned that countries, being a part of the BRI project, would face the risk of excess debt, environmental problems and losing control of their strategic assets if they signed up for the transcontinental infrastructure project. The clip, which urged the member countries to "be wary and examine the record of previous investments," was posted on the same day when China welcomed leaders from 37 countries and signed USD 64 billion worth of deals on the first day of the second Belt and Road Forum in Beijing. On Thursday the US Mission in China retweeted the warning in a Chinese language post.
The embassy said countries that sign up for the initiative will end up being saddled with unsustainable debts, which are growing, even among those that have endorsed it, prompting an effort from Beijing to allay those fears. At last week's summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping defended the initiative saying that it would not solely serve the Chinese interest but benefit "all of its participants." "The belt and road is not an exclusive club. It aims to enhance the connectivity and practical cooperation (of the participating countries)... delivering a win-win outcome and common development," Xi was quoted as saying. The BRI is a development strategy adopted by the Chinese government to strengthen its global influence through reshaping infrastructure development and investments in countries of Europe, Asia, and Arica.
(With inputs from agencies.)