China ‘fed up’ with News Updates US complaints on BRI

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BEIJING

China is fed up with hearing complaints from the United States about its Belt and Road programme to re-create the old Silk Road, the government said on Thursday, following stinging criticism from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The initiative, a key thrust of President Xi Jinping’s administration, has hit opposition in some countries over fears its opaque financing could lead to unsustainable debt and that it aims more to promote Chinese influence than development.

China sought to tackle those concerns at a summit in Beijing last month, promising to make the programme sustainable and green and follow international standards, especially regarding debt. The US has been particularly critical, and Mr Pompeo, speaking in London on Wednesday, slammed China for peddling corrupt infrastructure deals in exchange for political influence” and using bribe-fuelled debt-trap diplomacy.

In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said various people in the US had been making irresponsible comments on the programme, especially before the summit when, he said, such criticism reached a crescendo. But what was the result? One hundred and fifty countries, 92 international organisations and more than 6,000 delegates from various countries attended the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, including 50 delegates from the United States, Geng told reporters. — Agencies

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