Cui Tiankai Op Ed on FORBES: Why the US shouldn't sit out the Belt and Road Initiative

Guest contribution to Forbes by Cui Tiankai. Cui Tiankai is the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the United States.


In six short years, the BRI is already proving its value to our partners. Consider the example of Kazakhstan. As the world’s largest landlocked country, Kazakhstan has—as a direct result of the BRI—gained access to the Pacific Ocean through the Lianyungang port in China. Regular China-Europe Railway Express freight services have created more than 6,000 jobs in Duisburg, Germany’s logistics sector. Through BRI cooperation, countries such as Jamaica, Montenegro, and Uganda now have their first expressways, Belarus has developed its own car industry, and Sri Lanka has seen an end to its longstanding power shortages.

The key to BRI’s success and popularity is that it focuses on addressing the development issue. The Chinese know too well that development holds the master key to all problems. As the Chinese saying goes, building the road is the first step to become prosperous. Therefore, learning from our own experience, we are ready to help others improve infrastructure and connectivity.


So where is the U.S. amid all of this winning? There are countless opportunities to U.S. corporations available through BRI projects. Honeywell International is already working with partners to further oil and gas development along the Belt and Road. General Electric has signed a number of deals with partners of the BRI which will help to provide reliable power and energy to critical regions across the world. Caterpillar is working with China’s initiative to help solve Pakistan’s severe power shortages. Meanwhile, Citibank is actively providing financing for projects through the markets along the Belt and Road. We certainly welcome more taking part.

In a few days, the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) will be held in China, gathering representatives from around the world to draw up a blueprint for future cooperation. Looking forward, we will continue to progress towards high-quality development through global pragmatic cooperation. We will enhance trilateral cooperation and encourage cooperation among all participating countries in third markets, achieving win-win results for all.

My suggestion is that the U.S. embrace this opportunity.