By Li Xiaoxiao
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has brought opportunities to Latin America and contributed to the harmonious progress of human society, said Eddie Tapiero, a Panamanian specialist on international affairs during a recent interview with People’s Daily.
China is willing to see the development of other countries and regions around the world, he said, adding that the BRI connects the whole globe and provides opportunities for common development.
Tapiero is the author of La Ruta de la Seda y Panamá, or Silk Road and Panama, the first book on Belt and Road study in Latin America.
Starting researching and collecting related information before China and Panama established diplomatic ties, Tapiero spent five years on writing the book.
He introduced that his original intention to write this book is to understand what the BRI truly is, as the initiative is believed to be opportunities by some and a threat by the others.
The BRI is indeed an initiative of peace and development, said Tapiero, noting the 21st century is a time of high civilization in which wars and conflicts shouldn’t occur so frequently any longer.
He believes the BRI is an opportunity for all participants to have equal dialogues and a platform for exchanges in various fields at different levels. It enables each party to find solutions and seek common development through consultations, he stressed.
Sharing similar experience in history, Latin America and China have both created splendid civilizations and weathered hardships, Tapiero said, raising a question that how could it be possible for a peaceful country like China to cause such hardships for other countries?
Today, the international situation is going through profound changes. The BRI proposed by China is not for intensifying competition but promoting coordination and cooperation, as China is a country that is willing to see the common development of mankind, Tapiero noted.
The BRI has enriched bilateral relations between China and Panama, Tapiero said.
In November 2017, China and Panama signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly promote the Belt and Road construction, the first one of this kind inked between China and a Latin American country.
“The BRI provides rare development opportunities for Panama,” said Tapiero. The Panama Canal connects not only two oceans but also two giant markets, he noted, adding that Panama hopes to become a key hub in the Belt and Road construction.