Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi answers questions at a press conference on China's foreign policy and relations on the sidelines of the second session of the 13th National People's Congress in Beijing, capital of China, March 8, 2019. (Xinhua/Shen Bohan)
BEIJING, March 8 (Xinhua) -- The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is not a "debt trap" that some countries may fall into but an "economic pie" that benefits local population, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Friday.
Wang made the remarks at a press conference on the sidelines of the country's annual legislative session.
"It is not a geopolitical tool, but a great opportunity for shared development," he added.
The initiative has become the world's largest platform for international cooperation and the most welcomed global public goods, he said, noting that a total of 123 countries and 29 international organizations have signed BRI agreements with China.
"They have cast a vote of support and confidence in the BRI," he said.
From the start, the BRI has followed the sound principle of consultation and cooperation for shared benefits, and it has created enormous opportunities for all participants, Wang said.
He cited a raft of examples. "Thanks to the BRI, east Africa now has its first expressway. Maldives has built its first inter-island bridge. Belarus is able to produce sedans. Kazakhstan is connected to the sea. Southeast Asia is constructing a high-speed railway. And Eurasian continent is benefiting from the longest distance freight train service."