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China's Belt, Road Initiative Provides Alternative Amid US Sanctions – Academic

© AP Photo / Andy WongWorkers install wires on a 'Golden Bridge of Silk Road' structure on a platform outside the National Convention Center, the venue which will hold the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, in Beijing
Workers install wires on a 'Golden Bridge of Silk Road' structure on a platform outside the National Convention Center, the venue which will hold the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, in Beijing - Sputnik International
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The fourth Eastern Economic Forum kicked off on September 11 in Vladivostok, Russia. Speaking to Radio Sputnik on the summit's sidelines, Lanxin Xiang, a professor at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, shared his views on the role of Beijing's Belt and Road initiative amid Washington's sanctions spree.

Sputnik: China is going full steam ahead with the One Belt One Road initiative. What are the benefits for other countries and other participants in this project?

Lanxin Xiang: Well, this is a project that was created in 2013. The main purpose is to use Chinese experience of infrastructure building, you know, very successful, for 20 years or so, which will hopefully provide another stimulus for economic development for Eurasian countries, basically. This is the idea. The Eurasian landmass is huge, but infrastructure is very, very small poor. Central Asia, of course, is one of the key areas, but [there are] also other areas, South Asia and so on. So the idea is to create a kind of Euro-Asian connectivity.

READ MORE: China is Creating New Powerful Tool to Counter Trump's Trade Offensive

Sputnik: In a situation where we have the US and other players imposing sanctions on others, does this initiative become a valuable alternative?

Lanxin Xiang: Yes, I think, hopefully, this can provide an alternative thinking about future global governance because the United States in the last few years started using very frequently the weapon of sanctions against not just Russia but many other [countries] including allies, for example, Turkey. The excuse, of course, is the instrument they created, I'm sure you know well, the Magnitsky Act. Now, so far, they haven't applied that to China. If the United States feels it cannot beat China in a trade war, it will do it, maybe over vigorous issues in Xinjiang  because it's so convenient for the US government to use this weapon of sanctions — what I think is different from the old Jackson-Vanik [amendment], this is more precision targeting, to use a military term.

READ MORE: China Reducing US Oil Orders, Likely to Consider Alternate Suppliers — Economist

The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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