What is the spiritual implication of the Belt and Road Initiative?
President Xi Jinping started his speech by reviewing the history of the ancient trade routes. “The ancient silk routes embody the spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit,” he said. “The Silk Road Spirit has become a great heritage of human civilization.”
What’s happening to our world? And what will mankind do?
In his speech, President Xi pointed out that from the historical perspective, humankind has reached an age of great progress, great transformation and profound changes. “In terms of reality, we’ve found ourselves in a world filled with challenges,” he added. “Global economy needs new drivers. Development needs to be more inclusive and balanced, and the gap between the rich and the poor needs to be narrowed. Hotspots in some regions are causing instability and terrorism is rampant. Deficit in peace, development and governance poses a daunting challenge to mankind. This is the issue that has always been on my mind.”
In the autumn of 2013, in Kazakhstan and Indonesia respectively, the President proposed the building of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road—now known as “Belt and Road” Initiative.
What has the B&R Initiative achieved over the past four years?
The past four years have seen deepened policy connectivity, enhanced infrastructure connectivity, increased trade connectivity, expanded financial connectivity, and strengthened people-to-people connectivity, Xi said. These fruitful outcomes show that Belt and Road Initiative responds to the trend of the times, conforms to the law of development, and meets the people’s interests. It surely has broad prospects.
How will the Initiative continue to develop?
This question has also garnered the greatest global attention.
According to President Xi, a solid first step has been taken in pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative, and we should build on the momentum generated to steer the Belt and Road Initiative toward a great success.
He proposed five principles for the pursuit of the Belt and Road Initiative: “We should build the Belt and Road into a road of peace, prosperity, opening up, innovation and connecting different civilizations.”
What role will China play and what responsibilities will China take in the future construction of the Belt and Road?
China has reached a new starting point in its development endeavors. Guided by the vision of innovative, coordinated, green, open and inclusive development, we will adapt to and steer the new normal of economic development and seize opportunities it presents. We will actively promote supply-side structural reform to achieve sustainable development, inject strong impetus into the Belt and Road Initiative and create new opportunities for global development.
- China will enhance friendship and cooperation with all countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.
- China has reached practical cooperation agreements with many countries on pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative. We will work to launch these cooperation projects at an early date and see that they deliver early benefits.
- China will scale up financial support for the Belt and Road Initiative by contributing an additional 100 billion yuan to the Silk Road Fund and encouraging financial institutions to conduct overseas RMB fund business, with an estimated amount of 300 billion yuan.
- China will endeavor to build win-win business partnerships with other countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, enhance trade and investment facilitation and build a Belt and Road free trade network. These efforts are designed to promote regional and global economic growth.
- China will enhance cooperation on innovation with other countries. We will launch a Belt and Road science and technology innovation action plan, which consists of a technological and people-to-people exchange initiative, joint laboratories initiative, scientific parks initiative and technological transfer initiative.
- China will provide assistance worth 60 billion yuan (US$8.7 billion) in the coming three years to developing countries and international organizations participating in the Belt and Road Initiative to improve people’s well-being.
- China will establish a number of mechanisms to boost Belt and Road cooperation, such as a liaison office for the Forum’s follow-up activities.