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Initiative helping nations in development paces

China Daily | Updated: 2016-09-27 07:17

Initiative helping nations in development paces

Liu Qibao delivers a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the International Seminar on the Belt and Road Initiative which opened in Xi'an on Sept. 26, 2016.[Photo by Tang Yue/]

A lot of progress has been made since China launched the Belt and Road Initiative three years ago with the aim of boosting trade and infrastructure through better connectivity among countries across Asia, Europe and Africa. As Liu Qibao, a senior publicity official, said at a seminar in Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi province, the outcomes have been better than expected.

The initiative, comprising the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21 Century Maritime Silk Road, has received resounding support from countries along the routes. By the end of June, more than 40 countries and international organizations had signed inter-governmental cooperative agreements or memorandums of understanding with China on Belt and Road projects. Tremendous economic benefits to be reaped by countries along the routes serve as the main incentive behind their enthusiasm.

China has for years been the strongest engine of global economic growth, contributing more than a quarter to global growth in 2015. Embracing the Belt and Road Initiative means sharing the benefits of China's miraculous economic rise over the past decades.

And no country would say no to such a development proposal, especially because China has so much to offer, both in capital and technology. Its advanced 4G technology could provide users in many countries with easier access to modern communication networks, its high-speed railway technology could drastically reduce travel time between cities, and more direct flights from China can help to increase the number of big-spending Chinese tourists.

It is estimated that about half of the world's population will benefit from the Belt and Road Initiative in the years to come. Yet it is not a one-way relationship, as China, too, is poised to benefit from it.

The 20 countries with the fastest economic growth rates over the past decade are located along the routes. This means great business potential for Chinese enterprises, especially those involved in steel-making and photovoltaic industries, which are eyeing overseas markets after having met the demand at home.

With the launching of the Belt and Road Initiative, Chinese enterprises have accelerated their "going global" pace. In the first eight months of 2015, Chinese investments in the 49 countries along the routes increased by nearly 50 percent year-on-year, with nearly 80 percent of them yielding profits. This makes the initiative a win-win for all.

China has never sought to expand its influence overseas, ideologically or militarily. All it wants is to help countries solve their development problems. The initial success of the initiative suggests it is on the right track.

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