Sri Lankan Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena says that despite the Western countries continuing to smear the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as a “debt trap,” China is focusing on its own development path by ‘moving forward step by step’ while helping other countries to create success stories of their own.
Joining a discussion with the CGTN news agency, the PM further mentioned that China has proven to the world that many developmental challenges can be solved.
Meanwhile, he also expressed that China is a major contributor to global economic growth, and the BRI has provided solid foundations for the lives of billions of people worldwide.
Responding to a question on his take on the Western countries’ accusation against China of using debt to gain influence, Gunawardena stated that this debate has been going on over the years, adding that China is a nation economically powerful, which cannot be ignored by any country in the world today.
“Of course, this debate has been going on over the years. But China, in my mind, is a great nation, a nation economically powerful, which cannot be ignored by any country in the world today.”
China has invested even in the US, the Sri Lankan PM emphasized, stating that the Belt and Road development plan was an important role in new economic development for the whole of Asia.
He said China has shown that it can deliver to overcome many other issues prevalent in the world such as poverty, adding that millions in China, in the last few years, have been brought out of poverty. “It was not just a change, but a historic change that contributes to all others, and also as a model for others to see this can be done”.
“China has been helping all countries across the continents”, Gunawardena said, expressing that they have been working with key countries of the Western world.
“There was a time when those countries were reluctant to [make] deals with China. But things changed”, he added.
Despite the ongoing debates, China is moving forward step by step on the development path, and also helping other countries of the world to make their countries and economies a success story.
“To make countries success you need investment.”
In addition, PM Gunawardena asserted that China is a great contributor to this new world economy that is growing, highlighting that the BRI is a strong base for covering the life of few billions of people in the world.