A better understanding of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will bring benefits to Germany and everyone involved, said Dr. Michael Borchmann, an international affairs expert and former director general of the International Affairs Department in Hesse State.
In a written interview with Xinhua recently, Borchmann called the BRI a “global program in a time shaken by wars and crises.”
Borchmann said the world economy is “so closely linked together” that the impact of U.S.-initiated trade disputes and rising protectionism can be felt in Germany.
He called on China and Germany, both supporters of globalism and free trade, to work together more.
Borchmann noted that German media recently has already been using pages to cover the BRI and shown much more interest in the initiative. However, the content sometimes tends to focus on the risks and dangers.
“The public is showered with warnings about alleged dangers that would threaten the project,” Borchmann said, adding that people should better understand the BRI and study much closer on its existing results.
In his view, people can learn from how prosperity is achieved in some individual German municipalities, and one example is Germany’s western city of Duisburg.
“A city suffering greatly due to industrial structural change, but now the city can look into the future much more optimistically because of the new Silk Road,” Borchmann explained.
Lying at the heartland of Europe, Duisburg used to be a heavy industry center in the Ruhr region in its heyday, but had later struggled in economic terms.
Nowadays, the China Railway Express (CRE) freight service runs regularly through the city. Duisburg is booming, with transport terminals in the place of steel mills, aspiring to become a major logistics hub in West Europe.