Ensure that Belt and Road Cooperation Delivers Solid Outcomes*
August 27, 2018
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was launched in response to the call for reforming the global governance system. The BRI promotes partnership and a community of shared future, shared rights and joint responsibilities. It offers a new approach to reform and improvement of the global governance system.
For BRI cooperation to deliver solid outcomes to participating countries and their peoples, and contribute to the building of a global community of shared future, we need to follow the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution, mutual benefit, and mutual learning. We need to seek the greatest common ground with countries along the Belt and Road and work together with them to strengthen mutual political trust and promote economic integration and people-to-people connectivity. And we should take one step at a time and deliver outcomes accordingly.
Since its launch in the autumn of 2013, the BRI has received warm responses from more and more countries. It provides an avenue for China to participate in open global cooperation. It offers China's approach to improving global economic governance and promoting global prosperity and common development. It is a pathway to building a global community of shared future.
Over the past five years, BRI cooperation has given a substantial boost to free trade and investment in China and helped expand over-all opening up from areas along coasts and major rivers to inland and border areas. As a result, we are breaking new ground through links running eastward and westward, across land and sea.
China's trade in goods with its BRI partners has exceeded US$5 trillion, and China's foreign direct investment in these countries has surpassed US$60 billion. This has created over 200,000 new jobs. Our foreign investment has become a major engine driving the growth of FDI global.
The world today is experiencing profound transformation and change. We should view these developments in a global and strategic context. We should seize historic opportunities while guarding against potential risks and dangers, so as to steer the right course in the face of levels of change unseen in a century.
It is to further reform, opening up and sustainable development that we have proposed the BRI, and we view it as a solid platform to build a global community of shared future. The BRI gives expression to the ancient Chinese vision of universal harmony, and the Chinese nation's worldview of making friends beyond borders and seeking peace and harmony between nations. Indeed, BRI cooperation is an exemplary international venture.
The BRI is about economic cooperation, but it is also designed to improve the global development model and global governance and promote sound economic globalization.
We developing countries are accelerating our industrialization and urbanization in an effort to achieve economic independence and national revitalization. This process is gaining momentum. The BRI echoes the deep wish of the peoples of the world, especially in the developing nations, for peace and development. This explains their enthusiastic support for the initiative.
The BRI is an initiative designed for economic cooperation, not for geopolitical or military alliance. It is an open and inclusive process that does not exclude any party. It is not designed to form an exclusive bloc or a "China club". Its participation is not based on ideology, and it is certainly not a zero-sum game. Any country that wants to participate in this initiative is welcome to do so.
Thanks to five years of hard work, the groundwork of the BRI has been laid, and it has entered a stage of all-round growth. We should build on this momentum to upgrade BRI cooperation in the next phase.
We should follow the fundamental principle of pursuing steady progress and the new development philosophy. We should pool resources to launch major projects in infrastructural development and industrial cooperation, and address issues confronting some key projects, such as financing, the investment environment, risk management, and safety management, so as to deliver more solid outcomes.
Thanks to our efforts in the past few years, a general framework of cooperation has been put in place. It is like completing a drawing: The outline has been sketched; now we must fill in the fine details. And we need to do so with meticulous care.
We should move forward faster with our projects, particularly those that will meet the pressing needs of people in host countries. To this end, we need to establish working mechanisms supported by targeted measures.
We will make every effort to expand markets. We should establish more trading platforms, encourage competitive Chinese enterprises to invest in BRI countries, and develop cross-border e-commerce and other new forms and models of trade, and seek balanced trade.
We should improve financing. We should adopt policies to strengthen financing for BRI cooperation. We should continue the internationalization of the Renminbi in an orderly manner, encourage private sector investment in infrastructure and resource projects in BRI partner countries, and provide financing in foreign currencies to Chinese enterprises that operate in these countries.
We should promote exchanges in the fields of education, science, technology, culture, sports, tourism, health, and archeology, and develop aid projects under the framework of BRI cooperation to improve people's lives.
We should ensure that Chinese enterprises invest and operate in a well-regulated way and that they comply strictly with the laws and regulations of host countries and protect the environment. They should fulfill their corporate social responsibilities and become pace-setters in pursuing the BRI.
We should take overseas risk prevention and management seriously. We should improve our risk prevention mechanisms and upgrade security safeguards so as to guard against security risks.
We should strengthen the Party's leadership over BRI-related work. Local authorities, government departments and all those involved in BRI cooperation should maintain their political commitment, think in terms of the general picture, follow the core leadership of the CPC Central Committee, and act in accordance with its requirements. They should maintain firm confidence in the path, theory, system and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics. We should pursue the BRI as an initiative that is important to the overall interests of the Party and state.
Under the guidance of the CPC Central Committee, the Leading Group for Promoting the Belt and Road Initiative should fulfill its role as the main coordinator. It should ensure BRI-related coordination among local authorities and government departments, set priorities, formulate detailed implementation measures, and assign tasks to those involved at all levels. It should adopt follow-up and supervisory measures to ensure that all the policies and plans of the central authorities are faithfully implemented without fail.
All local authorities involved should pursue the BRI in alignment with national development strategies such as those concerning the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region, the development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt, and the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
We should boost opening up in the western and northeastern regions and encourage inland and border areas to take the lead in pursuing opening up. With these steps, we can make new advances in opening up by building connectivity both eastward and westward, across land and sea.
* Main points of the speech at the meeting marking the fifth anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative.
(Not to be republished for any commercial or other purposes.)