Global Times Op-Ed: 'It's Time for Washington To Consider Joining the Belt and Road'

April 30, 2019

On the eve of the Second Belt and Road Forum, an April 25 op-ed by Xu Hailin was published by Global Times which straightforwardly urged the U.S. to join the Belt and Road Initiative and not miss out on the opportunities that it provides.

The article emphasized that "ever since it kicked off six years ago, the BRI has always welcomed the U.S. to join. It was the U.S. that has refused to accept the BRI and has attempted to forge ideological opposition to it."

But now is the time for all that to change.

"This could be good timing now for the U.S. to deliberate signing up to the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). From a narrow national interest point of view, the U.S.'s concerns about the BRI are understandable. But Washington's increasingly deep misunderstanding of the initiative is pushing the U.S. to the sidelines of the economic and trade activities that are providing huge yields to the world. Hence, the U.S. will miss opportunities for growth while forcing its allies away from development opportunities.

"If Washington still claims itself the leader of the world, if it wants to benefit more from the global growth and keep its leading status, if it wants to make the initiative operate conform to the U.S.'s rules, joining BRI as soon as possible is the best way."

The op-ed concludes that it is pointless for the U.S. to try to set up a competing grouping:

"Rather than be envious of China's increasing global charisma brought by the BRI, while introducing a $113 million `Indo-Pacific Economic Vision,' intended to be a competing project of BRI, it is better for the U.S. to be part of the real BRI. Washington should abandon the zero-sum mindset and pragmatically promote global economic development, which will eventually benefit U.S.' growth."