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HomeGlobal NewsUsher in a New Stage of High-Quality Belt and Road Cooperation.

Usher in a New Stage of High-Quality Belt and Road Cooperation.

By Wang Qing

Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone

From 17 to 18 October, the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) was successfully held in Beijing, China. The Forum coincided with the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), with the theme of “High-quality Belt and Road Cooperation: Together for Common Development and Prosperity”. It was a conference of unity that has further consolidated the consensus on Belt and Road cooperation. It was a conference of win-win outcome that has further enriched Belt and Road cooperation. It was a conference of development that has broadened the bright prospects of Belt and Road cooperation. It was another important milestone in the process of Belt and Road cooperation.

The Forum has put forward an ambitious vision of joining efforts to realize global modernization, which is the common aspiration and due right of all peoples. Over the past 10 years, the BRI has completed more than 3,000 co-operation projects, galvanized nearly USD 1 trillion of investment globally, lifted 40 million people out of poverty, and helped many developing countries accelerate their pace of modernization. On this basis, President Xi Jinping announced that China will further expand market access for digital and other products, deepen reform in areas including the state-owned enterprises, digital economy, intellectual property and government procurement, and enter into free trade agreements and investment protection treaties with more countries., so as to continue to unleash the potential of China’s market as the world’s largest. China will work with all parties involved to deepen Belt and Road partnerships of cooperation, broader space for the modernization of all countries, and to realize the modernization which should be pursued to enhance peaceful development and mutually beneficial cooperation and bring prosperity to all. 

The Forum has sent a clear signal of  unity, cooperation, openness and win-win outcome. Over the past 10 years, the significant achievements of the BRI have made us deeply aware that humankind is a community with a shared future, and win-win cooperation is the sure way to success in launching major initiatives that benefit all.  We should all treat each other as friends and partners, respect and support each other, and help each other succeed. As the saying goes, when you give roses to others, their fragrance lingers on your hand. Over the past ten years, the international situation has undergone profound changes, today’s world is confronted with a multitude of crises and challenges; Cold War mentality and bloc confrontation have resurfaced, but the Silk Road spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit has been deeply rooted in people’s hearts. This BRF was attended by over 10,000 registered representatives from 151 countries and 41 international organizations. The scale of participation has once again showcased the tremendous appeal and global influence of Belt and Road cooperation. From Beijing, a clear and unambiguous message has been sent to the world, that is, we need unity, cooperation, openness and win-win outcomes, not division, confrontation, isolation or zero-sum mentality. Amidst great transformations unseen in a century, Belt and Road cooperation will always bring stability and positive energy to the world. 

The Forum persisted on the defining feature of being action-oriented. Indeed to advance Belt and Road cooperation, we need to build consensus for collaboration and, more importantly, take concrete actions. President Xi Jinping announced in his keynote speech eight major steps which China will undertake to support high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. These include steps to build a multidimensional Belt and Road connectivity network, promote green development, and advance scientific and technological innovation. They also include specific projects of practical cooperation, people-to-people exchanges, and institution-building for Belt and Road cooperation. During this BRF, 458 outcomes have been reached, , ranging from important cooperation initiatives and institutional arrangements in areas such as connectivity, green development and the digital economy to  specific targets including providing 100,000 training opportunities on green development for partner countries by 2030, and increasing the number of joint laboratories to 100. President Xi Jinping also announced that the China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China will each set up a RMB 350 billion financing window. An additional RMB 80 billion will be injected into the Silk Road Fund. Together, they will support BRI projects on the basis of market and business operation. These tangible cooperation outcomes are a vote of support and confidence in BRI by participating parties. Belt and Road cooperation is not about high-sounding rhetoric, but about concrete action. It will certainly provide sustained impetus for global growth and common development across the world.

It is time to ride the wind and waves and set sail. As we enter a new decade, China will take the Third BRF as an opportunity to work with the international community, including Sierra Leone, to sum up experience, draw up a blueprint, forge a consensus, and push forward the high-quality development of the Belt and Road in a deeper and more practical manner, and create a better future for the people of the world.

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