Clean Silk Road: The key to safeguard the BRI
Cui Hui’ao

Chinese government emphasized corruption issues, especially those linked to BRI projects on a sub-forum named Clean Silk Road which was held on Thursday at China's National Convention Center, as the first day of the three-day Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation kicks off. 

The discussion centers around how to make sure the money do not flow to the wrong place, such as being used in bribery, backroom deals and inflated costs. 

More than 150 representatives from companies, international organizations and think tanks participated in the forum. Speakers say the anti-corruption campaign is a collective effort, which should be made by government, companies and international players. 

For governments, the task is to improve transparency and create a more healthy business environment. Measures to be taken include establishing a robust anti-corruption legal system, conducting more overseas auditing, and stepping up crackdowns on commercial bribery cases. 

It is made very clear by Chinese officials at the forum that China has zero tolerance for commercial bribery by any Chinese companies doing business overseas, and China's anti-corruption welcomes whistle-blowing of such cases by other countries. 

The second role is the companies. They need to self-regulate and discipline themselves because they are at the forefront of international trade and deal makings. Panelists say they have to follow the laws throughout the process of a project, which includes bidding, construction, and operations. In addition, nurturing this corporate culture of honest management is equally important.

The role of international cooperation is highlighted at the forum. An anti-corruption campaign is not China's sole responsibility but the whole world. All countries should build an effective mechanism together to deal with the challenge. For instance, over the years China has established bilateral extradition treaties with more than 70 countries. And China's CCDI, Central Commission for Discipline Inspection is signing MOU at the forum with anti-corruption commissions of Philippines and Thailand. 

Going forward, China pledges to strengthen SOE leaders' integrity education, specify oversea investment, maintain close and clean relation between politics and commerce, says Chen Chaoying, member of China's CCDI at the forum. 

A consensus was reached on the forum that only a clean Silk Road can safeguard the legacy of Belt and Road Initiative, and truly benefit all countries.