Beijing, Nov 20 (IANS) China welcomes the US’ commitment to support regional infrastructure and hopes the promise won’t fail in practice, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said on Monday when commenting on US Vice President Mike Pence’s recent statement.
In a speech during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit held in Papua New Guinea, Pence said the US would provide $60 billion for regional infrastructure development, but Washington “does not offer a constricting belt or a one-way road.” eports Xinhua news agency.
Some media said the statement was aimed at China.
“We have noted the relevant remarks of the US side and will not make unnecessary connections. But since the US side has mentioned ‘belt’ and ‘road,’ I might as well respond with a few words,” Geng said.
The Belt and Road Initiative is an economic cooperation initiative and a public good provided by China to the international community. If it benefits unilaterally, there wouldn’t be more than 140 countries and international organizations signing cooperation agreements with China, according to Geng.
“The international community generally welcomes and supports the Belt and Road Initiative. There is no shortage of examples,” he said.
During recent meetings with the Chinese leader, leaders of Pacific island countries that have diplomatic relations with China expressed their hope to deepen practical cooperation with China under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, Geng said.
They also hoped the participation in the initiative will contribute to economic and social development in their countries, he added.
Geng also cited the Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez as saying in an interview Sunday that the Belt and Road Initiative is transparent and provides win-win cooperation, and the Philippine side has joined on a voluntary basis.
“For whatever purpose, the US has committed to providing $60 billion in infrastructure financing to support regional infrastructure development. It is a good thing to help the development of countries in the region. The Chinese side welcomes it,” he said.
“At the same time, we have noticed some discussions about whether the US can deliver on its promises and whether it will fail in practice,” he said. “We hope that such concerns will not become a reality.”