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China's all-inclusive vision for boosting global growth

(China Daily) Updated: 2017-03-16 07:56

Defending globalization at the World Economic Forum in January, President Xi Jinping accentuated that the Belt and Road Initiative, which he proposed in 2013, is China's answer to problems frustrating globalization.

And in the Government Work Report he delivered last Sunday and approved by the top legislature on Wednesday, Premier Li Keqiang highlighted the initiative as a strategic move toward building a more open global economy.

Li again cited the initiative to illustrate the country's commitment to greater openness while addressing the media at the close of the fifth plenary session of the 12th National People's Congress on Wednesday.

During panel discussions throughout the just-concluded annual sessions of the top legislature and the top political advisory body, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee, there was plenty of talk about how local economies and industries may contribute to and take advantage of the ambitious global connectivity project. But it is not just China that is benefiting.

For all suspicions that it may renege on promises of openness to foreign businesses, Beijing's all-out efforts to build international partnerships under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative should offer reassurance that that is not the case. Even from the perspective of reciprocity, China cannot afford to lock its own economy behind walls of protection.

And Chinese direct investments in countries along the Belt and Road routes have added nearly $1.1 billion in tax revenues and 180,000 jobs in those countries.

As an expansive economic connectivity regime that involves more than 60 countries, the Belt and Road Initiative, in Foreign Minister Wang Yi's words, has become "the most promising platform for international cooperation".

In May, Beijing will host the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

With Beijing devoting so much, so whole-heartedly, to the project, there is little doubt it will be a core vehicle for Chinese foreign policies in the foreseeable future.

Thus speculation that China's presence in Chile at the ongoing trade talks of the remaining members of the abortive Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement signals Beijing's willingness to take over Washington's role is unfounded, because there simply is no need for Beijing to assume such a role.

A more sensible way is to dovetail the existing designs for Asia-Pacific regional cooperation with those of other regions.

Integrating these inclusive regional groupings with the Belt and Road will generate unlimited growth potential for the global economy.

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