China’s economy has contributed and will continue to contribute to regional and world economy with its open platform such as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a South Korean expert said.

“The China Initiated BRI, a community with shared future for mankind, and a regional community with shared future are an open platform where everybody joins and enjoys common interest,” Lee Hee-ok, a Professor of Political Science at Sungkyunkwan University in the South Korean capital of Seoul, said ahead of the Group of 20 (G20) summit in Osaka, Japan.

The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative, proposed in 2013, is aimed at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe, Africa and beyond along the ancient trade routes of the Silk Road.

Lee said the open platform allowed every party to join in prosperity rather than excluding a certain party as the BRI and the community with shared future for mankind are a more open and multilateral idea that goes against unilateralism and isolationism.

With the launch of the G20 meeting in 1999, China began to actively participate in globalisation, triggering one of the biggest changes in the world economy as one of the world’s biggest markets joined the global economic order, said the professor.

“In comparison to 1999, the biggest change is that China’s participation in the world economy makes contributions to the global economy as well as its own economy,” Lee said.

China’s gross domestic product (GDP) has grown exponentially for the past 20 years through innovation that created leading industries in certain areas, resulting in the significant improvement in the quality of people’s life, he noted.

Stressing the importance of China’s stabiliser role in regional and world economies, the professor said the 1997 Asian financial crisis and the 2008 global financial crisis were kept from spreading because of the Chinese economy’s contribution to the global economy.

“The sheer size of the Chinese economy and its restored quality of competitiveness played a role in stabilising the Asian economy … The economic growth of Asian countries can be seen coming with the growth of China,” said Lee.

“By joining in managing global economic issues and overcoming crises, China’s participation in the G20 meeting is playing a decisively important role in stabilising the global economy,” the professor noted.

Lee expressed his worry about the U.S. protectionist moves, which go against the prevailing trend of globalisation.

“Recently, the United States goes against globalisation and moves towards isolationism and unilateralism. It damages the G20 spirit significantly … Given the world’s interdependence, no issue can be resolved by running counter to the globalisation and sticking to isolationism,” said the professor.