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‘Belt and Road’ project embraces new milestone

Author  :  Jia Xiudong     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2017-05-31

The two-day Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which concluded in Beijing on May 15, achieved broad consensus among participants, made clear the direction of cooperation, promoted the implementation of “Belt and Road” projects and improved the support mechanisms for the initiative. This event marks a milestone in the building of the “Belt and Road” initiative.

Since the initiative was proposed in 2013 by Chinese President Xi Jinping, it has achieved major results, and this summit provided an opportunity to review these achievements. These accomplishments have exceeded the expectations that observers and participants had when the initiative was first proposed. The results include not only concrete projects but also the broad engagement of the international community. As the most important public good China can offer the world, the initiative is increasingly bringing global benefits and international recognition.

The joint communiqué that the leaders roundtable meeting issued after the summit expressed the broad consensus among participants, who pledged their willingness to engage in international cooperation through “Belt and Road” construction. Within the framework, they will make joint efforts to coordinate economic policies and development strategies, increase substantial projects, and promote people-to-people exchanges.

China put together a list of the major accomplishments of the forum, including 76 items consisting of more than 270 concrete results in five key areas: policy, infrastructure, trade, finance and people-to-people connectivity. The aforementioned results show that the “Belt and Road” has transformed from an initiative into a consensus, and its vision has been translated into real actions with tangible benefits.

The Belt and Road is a historic initiative. Spanning thousands of miles and used for millennia, the ancient Silk Road embodied the spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit. The Silk Road spirit has become a great heritage of human civilization.

Today, the world trend is toward peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit as countries’ interests become increasingly integrated. At the same time, disparities in terms of peace, development and governance pose a daunting challenge to mankind. It is the responsibility of China and the world to draw on the Silk Road spirit and build the “Belt and Road” initiative into a platform for peace, prosperity, openness, innovation and connecting different civilizations.

As the proverb says, “a trip made alone is faster; a group journey covers a greater distance.” The communiqué called for creating a prosperous and peaceful community with a shared future for mankind. Xi’s original goal for the initiative was to coordinate China’s own development with that of the world as well as to inspire the “global dream” with the “Chinese dream.” This intention conforms to the basic concept of the common destiny of mankind.

It is understandable that some countries still have doubts about the initiative. But reality will show that China is ready to share practices of development with other countries, but we have no intention to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs, export our own social system and model of development, or impose our own will on others.

China will not resort to outdated geopolitical maneuvering or form a clique that is detrimental to stability. We hope to achieve a new model of mutually beneficial cooperation as well as a vision for globalization that is open, inclusive and beneficial to all.

The Belt and Road offers a development vision for Eurasia and other areas. China’s rising power and enterprising spirit will provide more guarantee for inclusive global development. In joint efforts with other countries and regions, China resolutely counters the challenges and difficulties that may come. To this end, China has announced it will host the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in 2019. At that time, all participants will get together again and create more surprises for the world.


Jia Xiudong is a senior research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies.

Editor: Yu Hui

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