Spearhead Special Report – 23.01.2018
By Shirin Naseer
Senior Research Analyst, Spearhead Research
In May, more than 100 countries attended the inaugural “Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation” hosted by Beijing. The forum was deemed a huge success by the Chinese media. Attended by several heads of states, the forum was used by the Chinese government as another opportunity to reiterate how the One-Belt-One-Road initiative (OBOR) could help bring about improved connectivity, greater economic growth and cooperation among countries.
The Vision and Action document revealed at the forum said that the OBOR initiative “accommodates the interests and concerns of all parties involved, and seeks a conjunction of interests and the ‘biggest common denominator’ for cooperation so as to give full play to the wisdom and creativity, strengths and potentials of all parties.”
The Joint Communique of the Leaders Roundtable of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation further highlighted the significance of “uphold[ing] the spirit of peace, cooperation, openness, transparency, inclusiveness, equality, mutual learning, mutual benefit, and mutual respect by strengthening cooperation on the basis of extensive consultation and the rule of law, joint efforts, shared benefits and equal opportunities for all.”
The forum once again helped demonstrate how the OBOR can bring world leaders together and create an environment for enhanced cooperation in the region.
All optimism voiced following the forum aside, there are numerous reports regarding problems linked with individual projects under the OBOR.