Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has recently said the Belt & Road Initiative proposed by China is suitable for the 21st Century and an approach built on parity.

President Assad said; China as a powerful nation, is trying to strengthen its influence in the world.

“It is not the negative influence we have become accustomed to, but rather an influence in the sense of relying on friends & influence based on mutual interests”

“When we in Syria think about being part of the Silk Road and Syria is a small country by international, geographic, demographic, economic and military standards…When we are part of this Road, China treats us as equals and not as a superpower dealing with a small country. There are mutual interests: it is beneficial to China, Syria and all the countries on this Road,” he said.

He further pointed out that the BRI is a relationship of culture and civilisation which ultimately leads to greater prosperity and investment, and the improvement of the social, economic and security conditions in these countries.

“This means more stability in the world, which is contrary to what we have known in our modern and recent history. This is what we see in the Silk Road (Belt & Road Initiative): stability and prosperity,” he explained.

Assad said Syria has started this year a serious dialogue with China on how Syria can become part of the project. He said the discussions have recently started concerning the infrastructure, which is one of the most important elements and could make Syria a part of the BRI in the future.

“We have proposed a number of projects only a few months ago,” he added.