Beijing: Refuting criticism that the mega Silk Road initiative is aimed at expanding China's interests abroad, Beijing today said its multi-billion dollar project is an "open initiative" and not a form of "Monroe Doctrine" to expand its dominance.
The Silk Road initiative which is officially termed as Belt and Road projects is "an open initiative, not some form of Monroe Doctrine or expansionism,"?Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here.
The Monroe Doctrine was a US foreign policy regarding domination of the American continent in 1823. It stated that further efforts by European nations to colonise land or interfere with states in North or South America would be viewed as acts of aggression, requiring US intervention.
"The Belt and Road Initiative is China's idea, but the opportunities it has created belong to the world," Wang said pointing to the the formation of USD 40 billion Silk Road Fund and setting up the Chinese initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
The Belt and Road Initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt that links China with Europe through central and western Asia, and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road (MSR) connecting China with southeast Asia, Africa and Europe.
India has adopted a mixed approach to the Chinese initiative. While it backed the Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar (BCIM) corridor, it so far stayed away from backing the MSR owing to the reservations over strategic implications?it would provide for China in the Indian Ocean.
India has also opposed the USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as it is being built through the disputed parts of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Wang said notable progress has been made over the past years in the Silk Road Initiative.
A connectivity network has taken shape, most notably the CPEC and the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor, Wang said.CPEC and the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor, Wang said.CPEC and the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor, Wang said.
A freight train now links China with Europe. All-round progress has been made in industrial capacity cooperation.
China has institutionalised such cooperation with nearly 20 countries, he said.
He also defended building military logistic base at Djibouti in Indian Ocean.
China has begun construction of the base at Djibouti in the horn of Africa which it describes as a "logistic base" to serve its anti-piracy naval escort missions off the Somali coast.
The US has however termed it as a military base.