European experts positive on B&R development potential

During the 12th Lennart Meri Conference on foreign and security policy, China's Belt and Road Initiative and its Arctic policy were described by European experts as being helpful for global development.

As to China's vision for a "Polar Silk Road," Caroline Kennedy-Pipe, professor of international security at Britain's Loughborough University, said it would be helpful for the development of the Arctic region.

In an interview with the Xinhua News Agency on Sunday, the British expert on international relations and global security said: "China is hugely important because of its commercial and economic strength, and its ambitions to be able to trade more freely with different parts of the globe."

During a panel discussion, Kennedy-Pipe said she doesn't agree that what happens in the Arctic stays in the Arctic, as it is connected with the outside, and "it's not owned by any state or any powers."

Her remarks echoed China's Arctic policy, which was elaborated upon in an official white paper released on January 26.

The white paper said China would like to "jointly understand, protect, develop and participate in the governance of the Arctic, and advance Arctic-related cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative."

The Polar Silk Road via the Arctic is widely seen as the third arch of the Belt and Road.

Also during the conference on Saturday, responding to a question on Chinese investment in Europe, Lolita Cigane, chairperson of the European Affairs Committee in the Latvian parliament, said that Latvia is "an active participant" in the Belt and Road Initiative.

"We do not see any dangers with the Chinese investment, and our cooperation is transparent," she noted.

Editor: 曹家宁