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Chinese President Xi Jinping gives speech at B&R Forum

(People's Daily Online)    09:23, May 14, 2017
Chinese President Xi Jinping gives speech at B&R Forum

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation on Sunday morning.

Xi called Belt and Road Forum a gathering of great minds and the project of the century and it will bring benefits to people across the world. He said the Belt and Road Initiative aims to compliment the development strategies of other countries."Thanks to our efforts, the Belt and Road Initiative is becoming a reality and is bearing rich fruit," Xi said.

Xi proclaimed the Silk Road spirit, saying it has become a great heritage of human civilization. Spanning thousands of miles and years, the ancient silk routes embody the spirit of "peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit," he said.

B&R becoming a reality

In his speech, Xi said that the past four years have seen deepened policy connectivity, enhanced infrastructure connectivity, increased trade connectivity and expanded financial connectivity as the vision of the Belt and Road Initiative is becoming a reality and bearing rich fruit. China has signed cooperation agreements with over 40 countries and international organizations and carried out framework cooperation on production capacity with more than 30 countries, CGTN reported.

Xi noted that China has engaged in multiple forms of financial cooperation with countries and organizations involved in the initiative to enhance financial connectivity. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has provided 1.7 billion US dollars of loans for nine projects in Belt and Road participating countries, and the Silk Road Fund has also made four billion US dollars of investment, according to CGTN.

Over 100 countries and international organizations have thrown their support behind the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative in the last four years. Trade between China and Belt and Road countries exceeded $3 trillion in 2014-2016 and China's investment in the countries topped $50 billion, according to Xi.

Xi noted that China has engaged in the construction of several major projects to improve infrastructure connectivity under the Belt and Road Initiative. In cooperation with relevant countries, China has accelerated the building of Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway, China-Laos railway, Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway and Hungary-Serbia railway, and upgraded Gwadar and Piraeus ports, Xinhua reported.

More efforts to be made

According to Xi, China will scale up financing support for the Belt and Road Initiative by contributing an additional RMB 100 billion to the Silk Road Fund, and we encourage financial institutions to conduct RMB fund business with an estimated amount of about RMB 300 billion. The China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China will set up special landing schemes respectively worth RMB 250 billion equivalent and RMB 130 billion equivalent to support Belt and Road cooperation on infrastructure, industrial capacity and financing, CRI reported.

China will also provide assistance worth 60 billion yuan to developing countries and international organizations participating in the Belt and Road Initiative to launch more projects to improve people's well-being and another 50 joint laboratories with countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative would be set up to enhance cooperation on innovation, according to Xinhua.

Xi said that China will provide emergency food aid worth two billion yuan to developing countries along the Belt and Road and make an additional contribution of one billion US dollars to the Assistance Fund for South-South Cooperation, CGTN reported.

Development holds the key

"Pursuit of the Belt and Road Initiative requires a peaceful and stable environment and we should forge a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation ... We must build the Belt and Road into a road of prosperity," Xi said.

Xi also noted that China has no intention of interfering in the internal affairs of other countries and will never impose our own will on others. The nation will also not resort to out-dated geopolitical maneuvering. What China hopes to achieve is a new model of win-win cooperation and the initiative aims to "complement the development strategies of countries involved by leveraging their comparative strengths."

Stressing that development holds the master key to solving all problems, Xi said that countries should make economic development open, inclusive, balanced, and beneficial to all. 

"We should foster a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation; and we should forge partnerships of dialogue with no confrontation and of friendship rather than alliance," he said, adding that all countries should respect each other's sovereignty, dignity and territorial integrity, each other's development paths and social systems, and each other's core interests and major concerns, Xinhua reported.

At least 29 heads of state and government are attending the forum, the highest-profile international meeting on the Belt and Road since Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the initiative in 2013.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Jiang Jie, Bianji)

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