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Belt and Road Initiative: What They're Saying


YAO JING
Ambassador of China to Pakistan
On the potential inclusion of Iran in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)
"But this [CPEC] also has regional aspects, even global aspects... As far as the international elements are concerned Iran is most welcome, and Afghanistan and Central Asia too, so I think it is very relevant for the CPEC to open for the several parties."

URMAS REINSALU 
Estonian Foreign Minister
On Estonia rethinking its inclusion in the 17+1 format (a cooperative framework between Eastern and Central Europe and China)
"Chinese investments are not passive, they lead to an increase in political influence. They [the Chinese] are not ready to create the illusion that China is not ready to use this influence."

JULIEN CHAISSE 
International Trade Lawyer
On China’s use of WTO accession negotiations to advance the Belt and Road Initiative
"The basic idea is that China is using the WTO accession process to leverage interest towards the Belt and Road Initiative to obtain greater commitments from existing and potential [Belt and Road] nations. China is not offering any [trade deal] as part of WTO accession but … on the contrary, China is requesting market access commitments from candidate countries such as Azerbaijan."

LIU PENG
Professor at Yunnan University
On Chinese concerns about BRI’s prospects in the Philippines after the departure of Duterte
"The change in the economic cooperation between China and the Philippines is definitely a major concern for the Chinese investors… They are not worried about taxation. They are not worried about electricity. [...] For most of the investors their biggest concern is the political risk."

MICHAEL GUNNER
Chief Minister of Australia’s Northern Territory (NT)
On the benefits of Australia’s NT to Chinese technology companies
"We have a lot of raw resources in the Northern Territory [of Australia] — lithium, rare earths and vanadium. … We can produce what Shenzhen needs to manufacture."

IAIN DUNCAN SMITH
Former UK Conservative Party Leader
On China’s role in Britain’s nuclear industry
"Our energy policy is in the hands of the Chinese. Just in that one sector we have complete domination by China when we should be strategically reviewing it."

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