China's "Belt and Road" is an open and inclusive initiative for regional cooperation and not a geopolitical tool, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said on Tuesday.
Lu's remarks came after an article published by the New York Times said that Beijing's push to revive the ancient trade routes is causing geopolitical strains, with countries voicing concern about becoming too dependent on China.
Lu told a routine press briefing that China was not seeking to secure influence in the region, and would not force anyone's hands.
The Belt and Road project is in harmony with the common interests of all related countries and international organizations, Lu said, stressing that it will improve connections between Eurasia and the rest of the world, and spur growth.
The Belt and Road initiative, which comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, was suggested by President Xi Jinping in 2013.
More than 60 countries and international organizations have expressed positive impressions on the initiative, Lu said, adding that some agreements have been signed and many major projects already making steady progress.
The Belt and Road initiative meets the needs of all countries and regions along the route, and is conducive to creating demand and jobs in these areas, the spokesperson said. This will promote recovery of the world economy, which is in the interest of all countries in the world, Lu added.
China will continue to push forward pragmatic cooperation with partner countries under the framework to achieve mutual benefit and win-win outcomes, he said.
Reedited by Jack Zhao
Photo from official website