Being all-embracing gives BRI a major advantage over IMEC
12 Sep 2023


It was widely promoted as a "counterbalance" to China's Belt and Road Initiative, but the BRI has a major advantage over the freshly unveiled India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor.


China first proposed the New Silk Road and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road in 2013. The two later merged to become the initiative. That was a time when the world was more united and cooperation for common prosperity appealed to all. China's initiative was good at improving the infrastructure of those who needed it and it helped link different economies together for a common good.


In the past 10 years, over 3,000 cooperation programs have been running within the framework of the initiative, with the overall investment scale nearing $1 trillion. With railways constructed and ports opened, people's lives are improving and the initiative's endeavor is to make it better for everyone, something that the IMEC can never match.


That is because, unlike the initiative, the IMEC was not born in 2013, but in 2023, when the world is divided and different nations have built fences around each other instead of roads linking them. Also, behind its "counterbalancing" ideology is a narrow mind that deepens the divide instead of bridging it.


The initiative has never limited its participants to any nation or region; its signatories are spread across continents. The IMEC, in contrast, as a published memorandum of the White House shows, is aimed at linking India, the Middle East nations and Europe with railways, which is akin to throwing a private party behind high fences rather than opening a garden for everybody to enter.


Such narrow-mindedness will only curb the efforts of the IMEC. As some in the Western media pointed out, unless the corridor passes through Russia and Afghanistan, it must pass through Iran, but is the US willing to cooperate with Iran?


Most probably "no", considering the US government's hostile attitude toward Iran. For too long, the US has been seeing anybody it has interests in as a "friend" while every nation that holds a different ideology is seen as an enemy. The IMEC too seems to subscribe to this ideology.


Time will show the difference between an initiative that embraces everyone with an open heart and a narrow-minded one that divides countries. We hope the IMEC does not become like the latter.


Source: China Daily