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Belt and Road is good match with European goals

By Fu Jing in Berlin | China Daily UK | Updated: 2017-07-07 23:56

Belt and Road is good match with European goals

Dagmar Schmidt, German lawmaker

Nations want to find ways to expand international development assistance

The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative is "highly compatible" with plans in Germany and elsewhere in Europe for the expansion of international development assistance and the two approaches could be integrated, according to a German lawmaker.

Dagmar Schmidt, who chairs the German-Sino Parliamentary Group, said this week's state visit to Germany by President Xi Jinping, during which he will attend the Group of 20 leaders' summit in Hamburg, could be significant.

"My expectation is that Xi's visit could help commit a much closer cooperation in the field of international development assistance,'' Schmidt said in a written interview with China Daily. "From my point of view, there are many overlaps in the German and Chinese approaches in the fields of international development assistance and international trade."

The Belt and Road Initiative is a development effort spanning dozens of countries and economies, through which China wants to boost trade and stimulate economic growth in Asia and beyond. China hopes to do so by building massive amounts of infrastructure to connect the area to countries globally.

Schmidt said the Belt and Road Initiative's aim to finance infrastructural projects in Central Asia, Africa and Latin America is "highly compatible indeed with Germany and the EU's assistance policy in the regions''.

"I strongly believe that it is possible to integrate the initiative into the existing pattern of international trade,'' she added. "I am convinced that this is in the interest of all parties involved.''

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the founding of China-Germany diplomatic relations and Schmidt said Xi's visit shows how significant, close, and amicable ties are.

"We have been able to build an open and trustworthy relationship based on an equal footing,'' Schmidt said. "This relationship has such a sound basis that disagreements can be addressed from both sides without any hesitations. This is quite a unique situation in international relations."

She said China is becoming more influential on the world's stage due to the Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to encourage greater economic interdependence between countries.

"The most urgent questions in international relations, such as a partnership with Africa and the development of a fair international trade system, are topics that we can only tackle together," said Schmidt.

Schmidt said Germany welcomes Chinese investment in Europe.

"Europe will not isolate herself,'' she said. "Investments help us in Europe, but they also help China. In my constituency, I have quite a number of Chinese investments. But we have to be on equal footing when it comes to the accessibility for both sides of the respective markets. This will surely remain a point of discussion in the future."

At the G20 summit, on Friday and Saturday, Schmidt said its leaders should ensure that the United States is made fully aware of how isolated it is over its decision last month to exit the Paris climate accord.

The US "will sooner or later recognize that neither the European Union nor the other G20 members have any intention to renegotiate the Paris Agreement," said Schmidt. She said the US decision will not lead to the creation of new jobs, but instead threatens existing ones.

Yan Huan and Wei Han in Brussels contributed to this story.

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