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The revival of China as a great power is a blessing to the world

By Curtis Stone (People's Daily Online)    13:09, March 27, 2019

The China-Maldives Friendship Bridge, the first inter-island bridge in the Maldives, officially opened on August 30, 2018. It was built by the China Communications Construction Company.

A significant breakthrough in China’s diplomacy this year happened on Saturday, Mar. 23, when Italy and China signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly advance the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to build a trade and infrastructure network to connect Asia with Europe and Africa along ancient trade routes. China said it will use this opportunity to strengthen the alignment of the China-proposed Initiative with Italy’s plan to develop its northern ports and the InvestItalia program, and promote mutually beneficial cooperation in all fields.

Despite some skepticism, the Belt and Road Initiative has developed into one of the world’s largest cooperation platforms, and the China-established Initiative has become a hot public good. More than 120 countries and 29 international organizations have signed cooperative agreements with China on this symphony of cooperation to date, bringing all sorts of development opportunities to parties of the Initiative, including the construction of Kenya’s first high-speed expressway, the first cross-sea bridge in the Maldives, and the formation of the car industry in Belarus.

The inclusion of Italy into the Belt and Road Initiative makes Italy the first G7 country to formally join the Initiative, and sets a new milestone in the process of building the Belt and Road.

What makes the Belt and Road Initiative unique is that it is an initiative for win-win cooperation rather than zero-sum competition. As everyone knows, the Belt and Road Initiative has its genesis in the ancient Silk Road trade route that linked China with many places in the world, including the Italian cities of Rome and Venice. Italy is a natural fit for the ambitious project because of its historical connections with China, but also because of the need to be open rather than closed, to cooperate rather than confront, and to be win-win rather than to dominate in the joint effort to promote development. In this fast-changing world, seeking win-win progress through inclusive cooperation and mutually beneficial cooperation is the best path forward for all countries.

China’s plan for mutually beneficial cooperation is not only visionary, but also based on practical actions. The country has solved countless challenges for over 1.3 billion people and such vision and practical experience can help solve key global challenges, too. From global growth, to global trade, to poverty reduction, to green development, to development experience, to governance ideas, China has become a leading provider of global public goods. With the Belt and Road Initiative, China has set the example for what it means to work together with mutual respect and for win-win cooperation, choosing dialogue over confrontation and partnerships over alliances, welcoming all countries to hitch a ride on Chinese development.

In China, it is said that without a big breakthrough in thinking, there will be no big leap in practice; and without a big leap in practice, there will be no great development. A number of Chinese ideas and initiatives have been formed with the goal of building a community of common destiny in mind, and there is genuine hope among many that these ideas and initiatives will improve the global governance system. Under the Belt and Road Initiative, we can expect China to deepen policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration, and people-to-people bonds, as well as uphold the multilateral trading system and defend free trade.

The revival of China as a great power is a blessing to the world, because it has used is growing strength to contribute to the building of a better world.

While in Rome, Chinese President Xi Jinping told his Italian counterpart, Sergio Mattarella, that China is willing to carry forward the spirit of cooperation with the Italian side, strengthen strategic communication, encourage the international community to seek common ground while reserving differences, and promote development through cooperation, so as to contribute new wisdom and strength to building a better world. This shows that China is confident that it can make new and greater contributions to mankind by working together with others to build a community of common destiny.

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

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