Interview: High-quality B&R cooperation has solid foundation for the future: official

(Xinhua) 09:45, October 13, 2023

BEIJING, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- Despite the complex international situation and tortuous global economic recovery, countries around the world still share a common pursuit of peace and development, which contributes to a solid foundation for high-quality Belt and Road (B&R) cooperation in the future, a Chinese official said.

In an interview with Xinhua, Cong Liang, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has become a well received public good and cooperation platform.

Since its launch 10 years ago, the "friend circle" of B&R cooperation has expanded to over 150 countries and 30-plus international organizations, according to a white paper released on Tuesday.

Aiming for high-standard, sustainable and people-centered progress, the BRI has yielded tangible and historic achievements under the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, said Cong.

In terms of infrastructure cooperation, an array of projects under the BRI have been put into operation, including the China-Laos Railway, the Jakarta-Bandung High-speed Railway, the Budapest-Belgrade Railway and Port of Piraeus, injecting new vitality into global connectivity, he said.

B&R cooperation in rules, regulations, management and standards has steadily expanded, said Cong, citing that China has signed 21 free trade agreements with 28 countries and regions and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership has taken effect among 15 countries.

With smoother flow of information, capital, technology and talents, the quality and efficiency of B&R economic cooperation and trade has been improving. From 2013 to 2022, the cumulative value of imports and exports between China and other BRI countries reached 19.1 trillion U.S. dollars, with an average annual growth rate of 6.4 percent.

Cong said that B&R cooperation in the fields of education, culture, sports, tourism and archaeology is also deepening, and projects related to people's well-being such as the Silk Road Chinese Government Scholarship, Luban Workshop and Juncao technology have contributed to the sense of fulfillment and happiness of people in B&R countries.

Noting that the BRI has evolved from ideas into actions, from a vision into reality, from high-level plans to intensive and meticulous implementation, Cong said that the initiative has important practical and deep historical significance.

The BRI has explored a new path of common development, offered a Chinese approach to economic globalization and reforms of global governance, injected durable impetus into the development of an open world economy and constructed a platform for building a community with a shared future for mankind, he said.

Deeming the world today as "living through accelerating changes unseen in a century," Cong said that an increasing number of factors beneficial to high-quality B&R cooperation are appearing at a faster speed and that these factors have the potential to greatly enhance synergy.

On the one hand, the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind has taken deeper root in the hearts of people, said Cong, adding that China has built the relations of shared future with several B&R countries and key regions, which has created a pleasant environment of enhancing connectivity and deepening mutual beneficial cooperation under the B&R.

On the other hand, countries around the world are eager to seek new growth impetus amid economic recovery, and mushrooming new industries and business forms promote the coordinated innovative development of China and B&R countries, he said, adding that China's complete industrial system provides broad space for international industrial cooperation.

In the next step, the NDRC will implement multiple measures to promote high-quality B&R cooperation, as part of efforts to integrate into the global economy more deeply and lay a solid foundation for a new development paradigm, said Cong.

China will fine-tune land passages and optimize the maritime cooperation layout, build a win-win industrial and supply chain cooperation system and better coordinate the BRI with major domestic regional strategies, he said.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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