By He Yin
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) should aim for high-standard, sustainable and people-centered progress, Chinese President Xi Jinping said at a symposium on the development of the BRI held on Nov. 19 in Beijing.
Over the past eight years, regions across China have opened wider to the world through the BRI, and a win-win cooperation has been achieved between China and participating countries, Xi noted at the symposium, which was the third of its kind.
In his speech, Xi systematically summarized the important achievements and experience gained by China in the joint construction of the BRI, analyzed the new circumstances facing the endeavor, and put forward clear requirements for continuing promoting the joint efforts for the high-quality development of the BRI.
Xi’s remarks manifested China’s firm resolution and the sense of responsibility of a major country to leverage the joint construction of the BRI to continue expanding high-level opening-up, sharing development opportunities with the rest of the world, and advancing the building of a community with a shared future for mankind in the new era.
As an ancient Chinese teaching goes, “All good principles should adapt to changing times to remain relevant.” Grasping the trend of the times of peace, development, cooperation, and win-win results, Xi proposed the BRI in the autumn of 2013.
Over the past eight years, China has adhered to the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits and focused its efforts on promoting “hard connectivity” of infrastructure, “soft connectivity” of rules and standards, as well as an people-to-people connectivity, achieving tangible and rich fruits in advancing the high-quality development of the BRI through joint efforts.
Today, the BRI is a public product widely welcomed by the international community and the largest platform for international cooperation. As of November 2021, China has signed more than 200 documents on BRI cooperation with 140 countries and 32 international organizations, and third-party market cooperation agreements with 14 countries, including Japan and Italy.
In addition, certain cooperation concepts and proposals of the BRI have been written into the outcome documents of important international mechanisms, such as the United Nations (UN), Group of 20 (G20), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
As the circle of friends of the BRI continues to expand, the quality of cooperation under the initiative is becoming higher and higher, which ushers in better and better prospects of BRI development.
Countries around the world should seize the opportunities brought about by the BRI cooperation to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results, said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
The BRI, which focuses on promoting development, the greatest common denominator that suits the interests of all countries, and brings benefits to the peoples along its routes, is a Chinese solution to openness, cooperation, and common development.
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, China and other BRI countries have worked more closely together to create a Health Silk Road for pooling strength to fight the pandemic.
By sharing opportunities for mutual benefit and win-win results and deepening trade, economic, and investment cooperation with BRI countries, China has injected impetus into global economic recovery.
With firm confidence in common development, China and the countries along the routes of the BRI have unleashed drivers of economic growth, benefiting people around the world.
The Belt and Road is being developed into a model of cooperation for meeting challenges through unity, a model of health for protecting people’s safety and well-being, a model of recovery for restoring economic and social activity, and a model of growth for unlocking development potential.
The initiative has brought tangible benefits to the peoples along its route, creating tens of thousands of local jobs, and turning farmers who depended on rain-fed agriculture into skilled workers and management personnel, which is the best interpretation of the value and significance of the joint construction of the BRI.
Facing profound changes and a pandemic unseen in a century, the world has entered a period of new turbulence and transformation. China has offered its firm solution to further promoting the high-quality development of the BRI through joint efforts. It will cement the foundation for development, explore new fields for cooperation with steady steps, better serve and build new development paradigm, comprehensively strengthen risk prevention and control, and enhance overall planning and coordination.
Embarking on a journey to fully build a modern socialist country, China will continue upholding the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, deepen political mutual trust, trade and financial connectivity, as well as people-to-people and cultural exchanges with other Belt and Road countries, so as to advance the high-quality development of the BRI through joint efforts and provide new opportunities for the rest of the world through its own development.