Belt and Road initiative to be a key discussion point at 19th Party Congress: expert

China's Belt and Road initiative has gained much attention from foreigners as the Communist Party of China (CPC) is holding its 19th National Congress in Beijing, according to a former Malaysian government official.

In an interview with on Wednesday, Hu Yishan, former secretary of political affairs for Malaysian prime minister, thought highly of the Belt and Road initiative, which will be a major discussion point at the 19th National Congress of the CPC, a closely-watched political event that takes place once every five years and determines the country's direction for the next several years.

As a highlight of China's diplomacy in recent years, the Belt and Road initiative has led to the creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Silk Road Fund, which has helped deepen China's ties with the related countries, said Hu, also an international affairs researcher at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University.

Hu predicted that after the 19th National Congress of the CPC, China will make more efforts to push forward the Belt and Road initiative as part of its diplomatic policy, especially in areas of trade and infrastructure connectivity. The former Malaysian government official based the judgment not only on China's global ambition but also on the related countries' desire for closer trade ties with China.

From the global prospective, isolationism and protectionism has emerged in the West, which in turn highlights the great importance of the Belt and Road initiative, said Hu.

For many Southeast Asian countries, the Belt and Road initiative will help deepen trade ties and people-to-people exchanges with China, with Malaysia and Singapore playing a leading role in connecting China with the related countries due to their unique geographical advantage, according to Hu.

After the 19th National Congress of the CPC, China will continue to act as a nation to promote free trade, as Chinese firms made foreign investment of $560 billion between 2013 and 2016, added Hu.

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