by Xinhua writer Wen Xiqiang
LONDON, May 9 (Xinhua) -- Britain was wise to lead Western membership of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Stephen Perry, chairman of British 48 Group Club has said.
Perry will attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held on May 14-15 in Beijing. In a recent interview with Xinhua, Perry said that the Belt and Road Initiative is a centennial growth development project without historical comparison. "It is well researched and tested and it will lead global growth into the 22nd century."
Perry said that the Belt and Road Initiative will open large areas of the globe to commerce and development by creating the foundations with the latest infrastructure and sustainable cities and agriculture. "It will create sustainable growth and increase a borderless trend," he added.
Proposed by China in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aiming to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia, Africa and Europe along ancient trade routes.
On UK-China cooperation, Perry said many opportunities lie in such areas as finance, infrastructure design and broad investment. He listed the development of new towns and cities as great opportunities.
The Belt and Road Initiative "will be the single largest source of global growth for the next 100 years. Only an industrial revolution in Africa can compare with this," said Perry.
China has named five priority areas of cooperation, namely, policy coordination, infrastructure inter-connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bonds.
"This is an essay in itself," Perry said. "It could address the fears and self-interest of other nations and their apprehension of the rise of China."
He said China needs to create effective networks and manage competing interests well, while safeguarding the core interests of major nations and developing countries.
Regarding China's economy, Perry said it is headed toward a managed market economy by 2021. "Some problems cannot be anticipated so suspense fills the air when this happens. But I think it's all basically under control."
"China will be the largest source of global growth for the foreseeable future. That is reality. China has a unique plan through to the 22nd century. The world should work harder to understand the plan and harmonize with it instead of trying to work with or against any passing phase," said Perry. "The sound long-term plan will win out."