PRESIDENT XI GIVES NEW IMPETUS TO BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE

Founder Editor Tazeen Akhtar..

BEIJING, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- President Xi Jinping on Monday underlined thorough and solid cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to benefit people in countries involved and build a community with a shared future for humanity.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, addressed a symposium held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, marking the fifth anniversary of the BRI.

Xi called for efforts to uphold dialogue and consultation, joint contribution, shared benefits, win-win cooperation, exchange and mutual learning and to promote political mutual trust, economic integration, people-to-people exchanges with the Belt and Road countries in order to advance the initiative step by step, producing achievements.

In the autumn of 2013, respectively in Kazakhstan and Indonesia, Xi proposed the building of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road -- the Belt and Road Initiative for short.

As of July 2018, more than 100 countries and international organizations had signed Belt and Road cooperation documents with China, extending the initiative's scope from the Eurasian continent to Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the South Pacific region.

Xi stressed that the initiative serves as a solution for China to participate in global opening-up and cooperation, improve global economic governance, promote common development and prosperity, and build a community with a shared future for humanity.

HIGH-QUALITY DEVELOPMENT

The next priority of jointly advancing the initiative is to realize its high-quality development, Xi said.

Xi asked for efforts to push for progress in Belt and Road projects, especially those delivering real benefits to local people, and keep expanding the market while maintaining the balance of trade.

He advocated a policy system on financial support for the BRI and encouraged non-governmental funds to invest in infrastructure and resource development projects in Belt and Road countries.

In 2014, China announced contributing 40 billion U.S. dollars to set up a Silk Road Fund to support the Belt and Road projects. A year later, the China-initiated new multilateral financial institution Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank was established.

Xi said work should be done to boost exchanges in areas of education, science, technologies, culture, sports, tourism, health and archaeology.

Under the initiative, China has set up 81 education institutions and projects as well as 35 cultural centers in countries along the Belt and Road.

Xi stressed that investment activities should be regulated and businesses should operate in accordance with laws and regulations, pay attention to environmental protection, and fulfill their social responsibilities.

In the first seven months of 2018, Chinese companies raised investment in 54 countries along the Belt and Road. The 8.55-billion-U.S. dollar newly added investment represented an 11.8 percent increase year on year.

Xi said high attention must be paid to forestalling risks overseas.

COMMON DEVELOPMENT

China's trade with Belt and Road countries has exceeded 5 trillion U.S. dollars and outward direct investment has amounted to over 60 billion dollars, creating over 200,000 local jobs, Xi said.

The China-Europe freight rail service network, a crucial part of the BRI, has expanded rapidly. Sunday's arrival of freight train X8044 from Hamburg, Germany marked the 10,000th trip since the beginning of the freight rail's operation in 2011.

For the past few years, trains have rumbled along the route, taking garments, auto parts, chemicals and other Chinese goods to European consumers, while bringing back European food, machinery and equipment, as well as timber products.

Xi pointed out that jointly pursuing the BRI was not only aimed at economic cooperation but also an important pathway to improve global development patterns and global governance and promote the healthy development of economic globalization.

Last year, Beijing hosted the first-ever Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, attended by state and government leaders of 29 countries. The more than 1,600 participants came from over 140 countries and 80 international organizations.

"The broad support for the BRI shows aspiration from countries involved, developing countries in particular, for peace and development," Xi said, noting the BRI is an initiative for economic cooperation, instead of a geopolitical alliance or military league, and it is an open and inclusive process rather than an exclusive bloc or "China club."

"It does not differentiate countries by ideology nor play the zero-sum game. As long as countries are willing to join, they are welcome," Xi said.

Vice Premier Han Zheng, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and head of the leading group on advancing BRI development, presided over the meeting.

China Daily adds;

Xi stresses shared growth, dialogue among countries, win-win results

The Belt and Road Initiative does not aim at a geopolitical or military alliance, nor will it establish a small bloc or set up a "China club", President Xi Jinping said on Monday.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remark while presiding over a meeting that marks the fifth anniversary of his proposal of the BRI.

China will uphold dialogue and coordination, pursue shared growth, seek win-win cooperation and boost communication with countries along the routes of the BRI to strengthen political mutual trust, enhance integration of economies and expand people-to-people exchanges, Xi said.

The Belt and Road Initiative, put forward by Xi in 2013, aims to build the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road to achieve policy, infrastructure, trade, financial and people-to-people connectivity and build a new platform for international cooperation.

The initiative, which reflects a sense of a community with a shared future, has provided new thoughts and solutions for the reform of the global governance system, Xi said at the meeting on Monday.

During the meeting, Xi was briefed by six government officials, two entrepreneurs and a researcher on the current situation of building the Belt and Road as well as proposals and suggestions.

China has promoted free trade and facilitated investment through jointly building the Belt and Road with other countries, Xi said, adding that China's trade volume with countries involved in the BRI has exceeded $5 trillion in the past five years.

Xi told the officials and entrepreneurs to have strategic views, set a global vision, have a sense of risk and at the same time seize the historic opportunity in order to move forward in the right direction when facing great changes.

The significance of jointly building the Belt and Road goes beyond economic cooperation, and it is a great way to improve the global development model and promote economic globalization, Xi said.

Saying that the BRI has gained wide support from the world, Xi added that it responded to the wishes of relevant countries, especially developing nations, to promote peace and pursue development.

Xi said that building the Belt and Road should mean pursuit of high-quality development, with focus on such things as construction of major projects in infrastructure and production capacity cooperation.

Xi required the addressing of key issues including major projects, financial support, investment environment, risk management and security in order to achieve more tangible outcomes.

Xi also required carrying out more projects that could benefit the local people along the routes of the BRI, expanding markets and investments, making efforts to ensure financial support and boosting exchanges in education, science, culture, sports and tourism.

 

The president called for great attention to preventing risks overseas, improving the system of security precautions and raising the capability to deal with risks overseas.