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A freight train departs from Nanchang, East China's Jiangxi Province to Hanoi, capital of Vietnam. Photo: VCG

一列货运列车从中国东部江西省南昌出发,前往越南首都河内。

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A freight train operated by China Railway Express, which links China and Eurasia, carries tons of daily necessities such as socks and handbags from Yiwu, East China's Zhejiang Province to London.

由中国铁路运输公司(China Railway Express)运营的一列货运列车,连接中国和欧亚大陆,从中国东部的浙江省义乌(Yiwu)向伦敦运送大量的日常必需品,如袜子和手袋。

Those products are in strong demand in the UK.

这些产品在英国的需求量很大。

The new freight route, which is part of the Belt and Road (B&R) initiative, also brings authentic British products such as whisky and baby formula to the world's second-largest economy.

“一带一路”(B&R)计划的一部分,新的货运航线也为世界第二大经济体带来了纯正的英国产品,如威士忌和婴儿配方奶粉。

In Kenya, the 480-kilometer Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway, which was officially launched in May, is expected to reduce the time for a passenger traveling from Mombasa to Nairobi to merely four and a half hours compared with nearly 10 hours by bus.

在肯尼亚,5月份正式启动的480公里的蒙巴萨 - 内罗毕标准轨道铁路预计将把从蒙巴萨到内罗毕的乘客的时间缩短到只有四个半小时,而乘坐巴士将近10个小时。

These are just two of many examples showcasing how the China-proposed B&R initiative is reshaping regional development, global trade and the world economy.

这只是众多例子中的两个,展示了中国提出的“贝加莱”倡议如何重塑地区发展,全球贸易和世界经济。

China has made rapid inroads since the beginning of the year, and the initiative offers new global governance solutions to the world.

中国自今年年初以来已经取得了迅速的进展,为全球提供了新的全球治理解决方案。

The initiative also yielded some positive results in some countries during the year, remarked Wang Yiwei, director of the Institute of International Affairs of Renmin University of China.

中国人民大学国际事务研究所所长王义桅说,这一举措在一些国家也取得了一些积极的成果。

"In 2017, Sri Lanka handed over the operating rights of the port of Hambantota to China, and the China-Myanmar oil pipeline began operations," he said, noting that China Railway Express also gained momentum by operating more than 6,000 freight trains since 2011. Also, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor advanced.

他说:“2017年,斯里兰卡将汉班托塔港的经营权移交给中国,中缅石油管道也开始运营。”他指出,自2011年以来,中国铁路快递也通过运营6000多辆货运列车而获得了新动力。中巴经济走廊也持续走高。

In general, the majority of related projects are going smoothly, and the B&R has become a familiar topic with many policymakers and investors around the world, the expert noted.

总体而言,大部分相关项目进展顺利,专家指出,“贝加莱”已成为全球众多决策者和投资者熟悉的话题。

Addressing concerns

解决问题

Not all countries applaud the initiative, and some Western media and think tanks have called it "neocolonialism" - a way of expanding Chinese power overseas.

并非所有国家都赞同这一倡议,一些西方媒体和智库则称之为“新殖民主义” - 这是一种向海外拓展中国力量的方式。

After Sri Lanka formally handed over the port to China Merchant Ports Holdings on a 99-year lease in early December, India had to showcase how the Chinese way of infrastructure construction was little more than a modern neocolonial enterprise, according to Indian media reports.

据印度媒体报道,在斯里兰卡于12月初正式将港口租给中国商人港口后,印度不得不向世人展示中国的基础设施建设方式。

Other B&R projects have also raised concerns in the West. With Germany and Belgium both seen growing wary of Chinese investment in Greece, its largest port - Piraeus - mainly owned by COSCO Shipping, serves as China's new gateway to Europe, the New York Times reported in April.

其他的“贝加莱”项目也引起了西方的关注。据“纽约时报”4月报道,随着德国和比利时对中国在希腊的投资越来越担心,其最大的港口 - 比雷埃夫斯 - 主要由中远航运拥有,成为中国通往欧洲的新通道。

"Chinese investment is fundamentally different from that coming from the West decades ago, as some Western projects were aimed at strengthening political allies," said Huang Rihan, an expert with the Beijing-based Center for China & Globalization.

北京的中国与全球化中心专家黄瑞涵(音译)说:“中国的投资与几十年前西方的投资有着根本的区别,因为西方的一些项目旨在加强政治盟友。

"Take the port of Hambantota as an example. The Sri Lanka Ports Authority still holds 30 percent ownership, which means that local business representatives can be involved in management, the decision-making process and operations," he said.

以汉班托塔港为例。斯里兰卡港口当局仍然持有30%的所有权,这意味着当地商业代表可以参与管理、决策过程和运营。

The Chinese model, which prioritizes development, is not only about the participation of Chinese participants but also of local businesses in countries and regions along the B&R route.

以发展为中心的中国模式不仅是中国参与者的参与,也是中国沿海地区沿线国家和地区的本地企业的参与。

"As stakeholders, local business groups will enjoy profit-sharing plans after the project starts working. It will bring reciprocal benefits for both sides," Huang said.

他说:“作为利益相关者,地方企业集团在项目开工后将享受利润分享计划,为双方带来互惠利益。

India had the chance to build the port of Hambantota years ago, but it rejected this option. "Unlike India, which holds an offensive view on regional cooperation, China wants to 'make the cake bigger' and benefit more people, that's the fundamental difference," the expert said.

印度有机会在几年前建造汉班托塔港,但它拒绝了这个选择。专家说:“不像印度那样对地区合作持有进攻性的看法,中国要”做大蛋糕“,让更多人受益,这是根本区别。”

In Africa, China set up a base in Djibouti in July, which already has US and French military bases. But the Western countries frame it as just naval facilities, while China is experimenting with Djibouti as a logistics and supply center, which could accelerate local economic growth, Huang noted.

在非洲,中国在七月份在吉布提设立了基地,这个基地已经有美国和法国的军事基地。但西方国家认为这只是海军设施,而中国正在试验吉布提作为物流和供应中心,这可能会加速当地的经济增长。

Also, a railway that links Djibouti and its neighboring country Ethiopia is expected to upgrade transport in the region and propel intra-Africa trade.

此外,连接吉布提及其邻国埃塞俄比亚的铁路有望提升该地区的交通运输,并推动非洲内部的贸易。

Looking forward

展望未来

Despite a growing consensus on the B&R, policymakers and investors need to tackle issues such as expanding financing channels, paving the way for more sustainable projects and tackling rising debts, experts noted.

尽管对“贝加莱”的共识日益加深,但专家们指出,决策者和投资者需要解决诸如扩大融资渠道,为更多可持续项目铺路,应对不断上升的债务等问题。

China has tightened control over capital outflows since the beginning of the year, and economic growth in the country has not performed in line with expectations, which posed concerns over outbound investment, Wang said.

今年以来,中国加大了对资本流出的控制力度,国家经济增长也没有达到预期,这引起了对境外投资的担忧。

An increasing volume of debt in countries and regions along the route also raised concerns among investors. Of the 68 nations and regions that are partners engaged in the initiative, 27 have their sovereign debt rated as junk, Bloomberg reported in October. 

沿途国家和地区的债务量不断增加也引起投资者的担忧。彭博社10月份报道,参与这一举措的68个国家和地区中有27个国家的主权债务被评为垃圾。 

Some projects are now operated under build-operate-transfer contracts, which have require a long period to generate returns for investors. "That has increased the risks," Huang said.

一些项目现在是在建设-运营-转移合同下运作的,这需要很长一段时间才能为投资者带来回报。“这增加了风险,”黄说。

Still, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has set some good examples of evaluating the feasibility and profitability of projects, which could be used as a reference by other Chinese companies that invest in overseas markets, he noted. 

不过,亚洲基础设施投资银行已经为评估项目的可行性和盈利能力提供了一些很好的例子,可以作为投资海外市场的其他中国公司的参考。 

While building up industrial parks in countries along the route is helping accelerate local industrialization process, Chinese companies have to fully localize their business.

在沿线国家建设工业园正在帮助加速当地工业化进程,中国企业必须完全本地化业务。

"The industrial park in Pakistan, for example, will also help local manufacturing grow," Wang with Renmin University said.

“例如巴基斯坦的工业园区,也将帮助本地制造业发展壮大。

From January to November, China decreased investment in 59 countries and regions along the B&R route, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

根据商务部的统计,1 - 11月份,中国在沿线的59个国家和地区减少了投资。

The total investment of Chinese companies in non-financial sectors in those economies reached $12.37 billion, down 7.3 percent year-on-year.

中国企业在非金融领域的投资总额达到123.7亿美元,同比下降了7.3%。

The trend echoed the call from experts for more cautious outbound investment. "For 2018, it's important to build up some sustainable projects to prove that the Chinese model is working," Wang said.

这一趋势回应了专家的呼吁,要求更加谨慎的对外投资。“2018年,建立一些可持续项目来证明中国模式正在发挥作用是非常重要的。

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