China's Belt and Road Initiative has received a lot of criticism from the United States and some of its allies, which have tried to denigrate it as a means to spread Chinese influence abroad and saddle countries with unsustainable debt. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, for instance, has alleged it amounts to China peddling "corrupt infrastructure deals in exchange for political influence".
Yet for participating economies, such claims could not be further from the truth. For these economies the initiative is a practical development booster and an important vehicle for multilateralism in the face of the damaging unilateralism of the world's largest economy.
Greece is one of the countries that is frequently held up as an example by those trying to besmirch the Belt and Road. But President Xi Jinping's upcoming visit to Greece at the invitation of Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos highlights the hollowness of such allegations.
Greece is a country that is enthusiastically participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, and it is one of the guest countries of honor at the second China International Import Expo in Shanghai.
President Xi's visit this time, which is the latest in a series of frequent meetings between leaders of the two countries in the last couple of years, will undoubtedly further strengthen the momentum of bilateral cooperation, which will set a good example for other countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative.
The world is indeed a big place, but trade, cooperation and exchanges shrink the distance of different circumstances, approaches and viewpoints. As shown by Xi traveling from Greece to Brazil where he will attend the 11th summit of the BRICS countries to be held from Nov 13 to 15.
The economic output of the five members of BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — has accounted for one-third of the world total in the past more than a decade and the economic growth of these five countries is expected to account for half in the coming several decades.
Greater coordination among the five largest emerging economies would provide a strong antidote to the dictatorial tendencies of the developed countries, whose sway over the institutions of global economic governance has enabled them to bend the rules in their favor.
With balanced trade among themselves and a coordinated stance on issues of common concern, the BRICS countries can play a bigger role in promoting openness and common development and push for reform of the multilateral trading regime and economic governance system to make them more authoritative, effective and fairer.
In doing so they would set a good example for greater cooperation worldwide.