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Why the Belt and Road Initiative has exceeded expectations

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-03-28 10:17

BEIJING - New Zealand on Monday became the first developed Western country to sign a cooperation agreement with China on the Belt and Road Initiative.

As a signature initiative of China's blueprint for economic globalization, the Belt and Road has the participation of more than 100 countries and international organizations, with over 40 signing cooperation agreements with China, outstripping global expectations

The initiative has reaped an early harvest as it has helped stimulate economic growth, create jobs and improve quality of life in countries along the routes.

People cannot help but wondering how the China approach has achieved such an effect despite a sluggish economic recovery, flagging international trade and a degree of backsliding on globalization.

The key lies in abandoning the law of the jungle, hegemonism and power politics as a zero-sum game, while replacing them with cooperation, partnerships and sharing.

Wisdom, responsibility and genuine pursuit of common development are embodied in the initiative, which has been recognized by more economic players and has even transcended ideology and traditional geopolitics.

For instance, China have been working with Australia and New Zealand to transcend differences in national conditions, culture and tradition to achieve successful outcomes on the basis of respect and equality.

Instead of merely emphasizing trade like the old days, China's Belt and Road Initiative is more about investment, infrastructure, shared opportunity and interconnectivity for a shared future, evident in China's cooperation with Saudi Arabia and Israel, two important countries along the Silk Road economic belt.

China and Saudi Arabia signed 14 cooperative agreements during a visit by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to Beijing earlier this month, including projects involving production capacity and investment cooperation worth about $65 billion.

During Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to China in March, the two sides announced an innovative comprehensive partnership and signed agreements for cooperation in economy, science and technology, commerce and civil aviation.

China hopes to boost Belt and Road cooperation with Middle Eastern countries as development is both the root and solution to solving thorny issues in the conflict-torn region.

Opening-up has been a driving force to lift China to become the world's second largest economy during the recent decades.

The country has long been a staunch champion of free trade, as it knows all too well that the benefits outweigh the costs for countries at either end of the balance sheet.

Despite its trade deficit with Australia and New Zealand, for instance, China remains committed to greater mutual openness in both markets.

In the global reality that seems to be tilting towards protectionism and anti-globalization, the Belt and Road Initiative brings hope that openness, shared development and cooperation will cross walls and barriers.

In hard times, the world needs wisdom and unity to move forward. The early harvest of the Belt and Road Initiative has proved it is a good choice.

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