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VOA: Belt and Road Forum Criticized for Suppressing Different Voices

Voice of America carried an article on the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation which was held on May 14 in Beijing. The article discussed the criticism Beijing received for promoting tolerance to the outside world while lacking tolerance toward its own citizens and suppressing different voices. The article mentioned that, while the forum was taking place, Beijing applied the highest level of security measures against dissidents and petitioners. Security forces could be sited at public facilities. Some of the dissidents were either sent back to their hometowns or forced to take a “vacation” and leave Beijing. Some stores, tourist sites, and certain construction sites were ordered to shut down during the forum.

In terms of the Belt and Road project, the article stated that it faces many challenges. One is a lack of transparency since it is State Owned Enterprises that are driving the project rather than the market economy. Another concern is the stability of the countries that are situated along the Belt and Road path.

Source: Voice of America, May 14, 2017