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Infrastructure could globalize 'China Dream'

By Paul Welitzkin in New York | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-04-12 10:57

Infrastructure can make the "China Dream" the global dream.

That was the observation of Patrick Ho Chi Ping, the deputy chairman and secretary general of the China Energy Fund Committee.

China's bid to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Africa and Europe can help make the next round of globalization more inclusive, environmentally sound and enable the "China Dream" to become a global dream, according to Ho.

Infrastructure development, which is the foundation of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), "tells the world to steer economic growth away from derivatives and financial services and back to real assets" like trains, highways and pipelines, Ho said.

The committee, a non-governmental and non-profit organization based in Hong Kong, along with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, held two events to discuss the Belt and Road Initiative at the UN in New York on Wednesday.

BRI was proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013. It aims to rejuvenate the economic and cultural ties that were originally built via the ancient Silk Road. Ho said BRI also helps China realize the "China Dream", Xi's vision of a prosperous and optimistic China along with its neighbors.

"This is what the China Dream was all about," he said. "Empower the man in the street so everybody can share in the fruits of economic prosperity."

Ho said BRI and related infrastructure development can be an effective tool in addressing income inequality. Infrastructure development tends to create better-paying jobs that enable workers "to leave poverty and improve their quality of life", he added.

Xi is not the only world leader who sees infrastructure development as an economic growth tool. US President Donald Trump has said he wants to implement an infrastructure program to accelerate American growth.

"I think the Chinese and American leaders are on the same wavelength," Ho said.

Jeffrey Sachs, who was director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, said BRI represents a vision of "enormous transformation" for not only the participating countries but potentially the world as well.

He said BRI is on track to use three principles when starting projects. One is to encourage a smart economy that takes advantage of technology; another is social inclusion to spread prosperity more evenly. The third one is adhering to sustainable practices to ensure a clean environment.

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