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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Taking the road to prosperity

SYRIA TOOK a further step along the road to economic recovery when it signed up to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) last week – a move which will help the defiant Arab republic break out of the shackles of the American blockade and create new opportunities for co-operation with People’s China and other countries in the Third World.

The BRI was launched in 2013 to build a trade, investment and infrastructure network connecting Asia with other parts of the world along the ancient Silk Road trade routes and beyond. Since then, the BRI has promoted economic prosperity and sustainable development.

Under the initiative, a large number of highway, railway, airport and seaport projects have been carried out in Belt and Road countries, and important progress has been made in building “six corridors, six connectivity routes and multiple countries and ports”, and the building of a multi-dimensional infrastructure network has been accelerated.

The BRI has also improved people’s livelihoods and facilitated sustainable development in several countries. Currently, the 82 economic and trade co-operation zones under the Initiative have created about 300,000 local jobs. During the construction of the Mombasa–Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway in Kenya, more than 300 local enterprises were involved with local employees accounting for more than 90 per cent of the workforce. Also, a large number of livelihood assistance projects, including housing, water supply, medical care and education, have been implemented in countries participating in the initiative.

The BRI stresses the continuous pursuit of green development. China has signed documents on the Green Belt and Road Initiative with the United Nations Environment Programme and set standards for green product certification and green infrastructure construction.

The Initiative offers huge trade and investment opportunities to the post-Brexit UK economy – but sadly Boris Johnson has chosen to grovel to the Americans instead. Perhaps his successor will think otherwise.