Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad gave a massive endorsement to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), saying all will benefit from the ease of travel and communication the development strategy will bring.
The Prime Minister said that with trade driving the world, it was only natural that land and sea passages be better developed.
He said freedom of passage along these routes was important and warned against bureaucratic hassles slowing down the speed of travel.
Dr Mahathir, who is on his second visit to China since becoming the 7th Prime Minister last May, said the world has the technology and funds to bring about such improvements.
The forum attracted over 5,000 participants from 150 countries including leaders from around the world, such as Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Rodrigo Duterte (Philippine), President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi (Egypt) and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.The BRI, also known as the One Belt One Road (OBOR) or the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road, is a strategy adopted by the Chinese government involving infrastructure development and investments in 152 countries and international organisations in Europe, Asia, Middle East, Latin America and Africa.
Dr Mahathir said just as massive trade by ships helped spawn the development of huge bulk carriers, the land passage should also “respond” to the increased trade between East and West. He also suggested that bigger trains be built for the purpose.