Promote the Belt and Road Initiative, Extend Reform and Development

Xi Jinping: The Governance of China II Updated: 2021-12-28

Promote the Belt and Road Initiative, Extend Reform and Development* 

April 29, 2016 

The Belt and Road Initiative is an important measure in enabling China to implement all-round opening up, and a major platform for promoting mutual benefit in the current era. We should redouble our efforts to implement the initiative from a higher ground and a broader perspective, on the basis of rich historical experience, and equipped with innovative ideas and concepts, so that the initiative will truly benefit peoples of all countries along the routes. 

The Political Bureau has chosen this topic for today's group study session to help us understand the history and culture of the Silk Road and the Maritime Silk Road, and learn from historical experience in order to further the Belt and Road Initiative. The initiative has attracted considerable attention from the international community. The reasons for this are that the initiative responds to the call of the times and meets the desire of countries for faster development, and that it has a profound historical origin and popular foundation. For our own part, the initiative meets our country's need for economic growth, and is conducive to the development of border regions mainly inhabited by ethnic minorities. 

The initiative has evoked the historical memory of participating countries. The ancient Silk Road was more a route of friendship than a route of trade. In the course of friendly exchanges between the Chinese and other peoples along the route, a Silk Road spirit featuring peace, cooperation, openness, inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit has taken shape. We should inherit and carry forward the Silk Road spirit, combining China's development with that of other countries involved in the initiative, and the Chinese Dream with dreams of other peoples, and imbue it with new life. 

To promote the initiative, we have to maintain a proper balance between the interests of our country and those of other countries, between the government, the market and society, between economic and trade cooperation and people-to-people exchanges, between opening up and national security, between implementation and publicity, and between national and local objectives. 

China is the initiator and propeller of the Belt and Road Initiative, but the initiative is not China's business alone. Therefore, focusing on China's own development, it should also welcome other countries to board China's express train of development, and help them realize their own development objectives. We should pay greater attention to the interests of other countries while pursuing our own. We should stick to the sound values of upholding the greater good and pursuing shared interests, with high priority given to the greater good. We should not seek quick successes and instant benefits, nor should we engage in short-term behavior. We must adopt a holistic approach to the common interests of China and other countries and their respective interests and concerns. We must identify more areas for converging interests, and give full play to all participating countries. Our enterprises must give greater importance to their good reputation in their going-global activities, while seeking their investment returns. They must abide by laws of the recipient countries, and shoulder more social responsibilities. 

To promote the initiative, we must give play to both the role of the government and that of the market. The government must play a leading role in promotion, coordination and building mechanisms. At the same time, it is important to put in place a market-based regional economic cooperation mechanism for enterprises. The government should encourage enterprises and other social forces to participate in the initiative, with a view to forming a cooperation model that features guidance by the government, participation of enterprises and support of people's organizations. 

People-to-people and cultural exchanges are also an integral part of the initiative. To implement the initiative, we must create an atmosphere in which people of all participating countries appreciate, understand and respect each other. Closer people-to-people ties represent an important element of the initiative as well as a popular and cultural foundation. We must promote economic cooperation and cultural exchanges simultaneously. We must work meticulously in the field of cultural exchanges, respecting the culture, history, customs and lifestyles of all countries, and increase friendly exchanges with peoples of the participating countries, so as to lay a good social foundation for the development of the initiative. We must enhance cooperation in the field of security, endeavor to build a community of shared interests, shared responsibility and shared future, and foster a favorable environment. We should direct our attention to promotional efforts and make them effective, try all means to explain and carry across the message of the initiative, and cultivate a good environment of public opinion in support of the initiative. 

The implementation of the initiative requires both the overall objective of the state and local enthusiasm. Local planning and objectives should conform to the national objective and serve the overall interests. We should focus on opening wider to the outside world, enhancing our ability to participate in international competition, transforming the growth model, and restructuring the economy. We must base ourselves on local reality, identify and give play to the role of local governments, make practical progress, and expand the space for reform and development. 

Main points of the speech at the 31st group study session of the Political Bureau of the 18th CPC Central Committee. 

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