German foreign minister slams China’s “One Belt, One Road”

The Chinese concept brings back the conflict between democracy and dictatorship: Gabriel

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel addressing the Munich Security Conference.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel addressing the Munich Security Conference. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative amounts to a struggle between democracy and dictatorship, so the West should come up with an alternative, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said at the Munich Security Conference Saturday.

The Chinese initiative aims to recreate the “Silk Road” of ancient times by launching infrastructure projects to link the country up with the rest of Asia as well as Europe and Africa, but it has also instilled fears that the communist country will use the plan to try to expand its political and military influence.

In his speech in the presence of Chinese government officials, Gabriel said China was using “One Belt, One Road” to influence the world and create a value system different from the West, pushing back the conflict between democracy and dictatorship to the fore again, the Central News Agency reported.

Germany’s top diplomat called on Western nations to present a response and an alternative to the Chinese project.

China was the only country at present to have a systematic global political aim, but it was different from the West’s traditional notions of democracy, freedom and human rights, Gabriel said.

One response from the West should be more investment in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Africa, according to the minister, a former leader of the Social Democratic Party.

During his speech, Gabriel also lashed out at United States President Donald Trump, of whom he said one could not know what to believe, his actions, his words or his tweets.

The German minister described the world as more complicated and confusing than during the Cold War, and called on Europe to stand together and forge common stances on global issues.