TOKYO: The China-US confrontation has not only slowed down the world’s economic recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic but also destroyed the regional security environment, former Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said at a recent forum, suggesting that the world’s economy and stability will benefit tremendously from China-US cooperation or benign competition.
The Belt and Road Forum for International Financial Cooperation was held in northwest China’s Xi’an City last week, aiming at building a global platform for financial cooperation and innovative development of the Belt and Road countries, report agencies.The forum attracted more than 200 global political and business elites from countries including China, the US, Russia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and the United Arab Emirates, discussing issues like Belt and Road financial cooperation, the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy, combating climate change, as well as current China-US relations.
On that issue, Hatoyama said in a keynote speech via video: “The U.S. government is keen to interpret the confrontation between China and the U.S. as the opposition of values. However, the origin lies in the Thucydides Trap, which means the suspicion and disputes arising from the gradually narrowed gap in national strength between the emerging power and the existing power.”
In addition, he said that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which was put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, is proof that China has made great achievements in improving its soft power. If the initiative can facilitate the economic development of countries along the Belt and Road with win-win results, and help alleviate poverty in developing countries in a steady manner, discussions on matters such as China Threat Theory will disappear in a flash, Hatoyama said.
“Although the Japanese government and enterprises haven’t declared their stands on BRI, I personally hope that Japan could actively participate in it and contribute to its comprehensive success together with China,” he added.
Djoomart Otorbaev, former prime minister of the Kyrgyz Republic, hailed the Eurasian rail revolution, which he said was the first achievement of the BRI in central Asia and Europe.
In March 2011, the first freight train departed from southwest China’s Chongqing to Duisburg in Germany, and in Otorbaev’s opinion, it marked the start of the real era of Eurasian rail revolution. He noted that as a new way of transport, it’s much cheaper than air delivery, and much faster than sea travel.