China Once Again Invites U.S. to Join Silk Road

March 23, 2015

China has once again invited the United States to join the Silk Road and the AIIB, in the footsteps of Chinese President Xi Jinping's forceful Nov. 12, 2014 invitation, made at a joint press conference with President Obama at the APEC summit in Beijing, in which he urged the U.S. join in Asia Pacific development.

The March 23 Global Times reports that Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui told the China Development Forum in Beijing, in the Global Times's paraphrase, that "China and the United States share much common interests and space for cooperation in the Asia Pacific, which should become a region of priority to build a new model of major-power relations between the two countries."

This echoed President Xi's proposal at a joint Xi-Obama press conference--at the November 2014 APEC summit--for Chinese-U.S. capital-intensive collaboration in Asia and globally. President Xi said,

"I introduced to President Obama, China's initiatives of establishing the Asian Infrastructure Development Bank and the Silk Road. Underdeveloped infrastructure is the main bottleneck obstructing the economic development in Asia... We welcome the active participation of the United States and other relevant countries so that together we can promote and share prosperity and peace in Asia Pacific."

Now, as Obama is buffeted globally for refusing to permit the U.S. to join the AIIB, China is re-extending the invitation. Furthemore, Vice Foreign Minister Zhang said,

"China's Belt and Road initiatives will facilitate economic cooperation and will not act as a geo-strategic tool... The initiatives do not target particular countries or international organizations. The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, proposed by China in 2013, follow the principles of joint consultation, construction, and sharing. It will be an open and inclusive platform for regional cooperation, taking into full consideration the position, interests, and convenience of every side...The planned Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)...would finance infrastructure construction along the belt and road."