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China issues report on BRI progress, contributions and prospects

By Luo Shanshan (People's Daily)    09:31, April 24, 2019

China published a report on the progress, contributions and prospects of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in Beijing on Apr. 22, ahead of the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) to be held from Apr. 25 to 27.

Four large trailing suction hopper dredgers reclaim land for the Colombo Port City near the Colombo Harbor in Sri Lanka, a key project for China and Sri Lanka to jointly build the Maritime Silk Road. The project is jointly developed by the government of Sri Lanka and China Harbour Engineering Company Limited under the Belt and Road Initiative. Both sides aim to build a high-end urban complex that gathers finance, tourism, logistics and information technology services via land reclamation. (Photo provided by China Harbour Engineering Company Limited)

The document was released at a press conference held by the State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China.

Xiao Weiming, director general of the Department of General Affairs of the Office of the Leading Group for Promoting the Belt and Road Initiative and Song Lihong, director general of the Comprehensive Department under the Ministry of Commerce briefed on the report.

It’s noted in the report that the BRI, upholding the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, has made significant progress since 2013. Participating countries have obtained tangible benefits, and their appreciation of and participation in the initiative is growing.

The BRI and its core concepts have been written into documents of the United Nations (UN), Group of Twenty (G20), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and other international and regional organizations.

To date, China has signed over 170 cooperation documents with more than 150 countries and international organizations.

The construction of six major corridors for international economic cooperation is progressing steadily, and the corridors have played an important role in establishing and strengthening connectivity partnerships between participating countries and building a smooth and efficient Eurasian market.

Regarding trade connectivity, China has issued the Initiative on Promoting Unimpeded Trade Cooperation along the Belt and Road, to which 83 countries and international organizations have subscribed. China has signed or upgraded free trade agreements with ASEAN, Singapore, Pakistan, Georgia and other countries and regions.

To promote finance connectivity, China has endorsed the Guiding Principles on Financing the Development of the Belt and Road with 27 countries. The People’s Bank of China has co-financed over 100 projects in more than 70 countries and regions with multilateral development institutions.

The Chinese Government Scholarship - Silk Road Program has been set up, and China signed agreements on mutual recognition of higher education qualifications and degrees with 24 countries along the Belt and Road.

Aerial photo shows the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge, a two-kilometer bridge that connects Maldives’ capital Male, the Hulhumale island and neighboring Hulhule island where the Maldives' main international airport is located. The most important link-road project of Maldives was completed on August 22, 2018. (Photo provided by China Communications Construction Group)

From 2013 to 2018, the direct investment made by Chinese enterprises in Belt and Road countries surpassed $90 billion, realizing a turnover of $400 billion in foreign contracted projects in these countries.

Huge progress has been made in economic and trade cooperation since the proposal of the BRI 6 years ago, said Song. Over the past six years, the value of trade between China and other Belt and Road countries surpassed $6 trillion, accounting for 27.4 percent of China's total trade in goods and growing at 4 percent on an annual average which was faster than the country's overall foreign trade.

According to the report, the BRI originated in China, but it belongs to the world. It is rooted in history, but oriented toward the future. It focuses on Asia, Europe and Africa, but is open to all partners.

Xiao introduced that the first BRF held in 2017 produced 279 deliverables. All these achievements have now been implemented, with some starting regular operation.

The BRI is currently transitioning from making high-level plans to intensive and meticulous implementation.

China is willing to work together with other participating countries to make the BRI deep and concrete, and build the Belt and Road into a road for peace, prosperity, opening up, green development, innovation, connected civilizations and clean government.

To build the Belt and Road into a road for peace, China is willing to foster a vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security and forge partnerships through dialogue rather than confrontation and friendship rather than alliance, Xiao said.

To build the Belt and Road into a road of prosperity, China is willing to promote land, maritime, air and cyberspace connectivity with other participating countries so as to achieve economic integration and coordinated development to the benefit of all participants.

To build the Belt and Road into a road of opening up, China is willing to uphold and support the rule-based multilateral trading system that is open, transparent, inclusive and non-discriminatory with other participating countries.

To build a road of green development, China will pursue the vision of green development with other Belt and Road countries to fulfill the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

To build a road of innovation, China is willing to build national level platforms for joint scientific research and form a multi-level and diverse mechanism for technological and people-to-people exchanges with other participating countries.

To build a road of connected civilizations, China is willing to conduct extensive cooperation in education, technology, culture, health, sports, media and tourism with other participating countries.

To build a road of clean government, China is willing to work together with its partners to strengthen supervision and risk prevention and control in the Belt and Road projects, and enhance international cooperation and exchanges in fighting corruption.

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

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