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Building the Belt and Road for win-win development

China Daily | Updated: 2017-02-03 07:41

We have learnt that some foreign leaders will attend the BRF and there is great international interest in this event. How are the preparations going and which countries will participate in the Forum? What will be the outcomes of the BRF and what are your expectations?

We attach great importance to the preparations for the BRF. We have set up a committee to look after and coordinate the preparation. Thanks to the concerted efforts of responsible departments and the local government, the preparation is well underway. Many foreign leaders have expressed their interest in attending the event. Political preparation is making steady progress. Arrangements about key events, venues, logistics and security are being substantiated. For the coming weeks and months, we will keep the international community updated about its preparation for the Forum whenever necessary, in a spirit of openness and transparency.

Leaders from about 20 countries have confirmed their participation, representing Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America at the Forum. This testifies to the great attention and support the Forum and the Belt and Road Initiative have received from the international community. We will also invite ministerial delegations from some countries, representatives of international organizations, former foreign heads of state and government, business leaders, experts and scholars to join the discussions on how to promote cooperation.

The success of the Forum very much lies in its outcomes, and we are working vigorously for that to happen. We hope that the Forum will deliver important outcomes in three aspects:

First, expanding international consensus on cooperation. The Forum is expected to encourage all parties to uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, pursue peace and cooperation in a spirit of openness, inclusiveness and mutual learning, and seek win-win and interconnected development. Economic growth, job creation, poverty reduction, delivering a better life to the people and environmental protection shall be underlined as the priorities of international cooperation. The Forum will also encourage the formation of synergy among national, regional and global development agenda, with a view to moving the world toward a community of shared future for mankind featuring common development and prosperity.

Second, enhancing practical cooperation in key areas. The Forum is expected to cement the good momentum of cooperation in all fields under the Belt and Road Initiative, paying particular attention to those key areas and directions with far-reaching and long-term implications. The Forum will enhance cooperation in infrastructure connectivity, trade and investment, financial support and people-to-people exchanges, facilitate a number of major projects and cooperation agreements, and come up with some key mid- to long-term measures.

Third, mapping out plans for long-term cooperation. In jointly building the Belt and Road, we will explore, together with the related countries, long-term cooperation mechanisms through equal-footed consultations that take the interests of all parties into balanced consideration. The Forum will help to enhance communication and coordination, build mutual trust and a solid network of partnerships, increase real input, deepen the convergence of interests, and draw up a blueprint of development in the common interests of all parties.

From your remarks, we get the sense that the BRF will help advance international cooperation, enhance the alignment between the Belt and Road Initiative and the development strategies of partner countries, and strengthen China's economic cooperation with the world. How then are we to understand the importance of the BRF to China's efforts to implement its 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), boost all-round reform and opening-up, and achieve the two centenary goals (namely, ushering in a moderately prosperous society in all respects when the Communist Party of China celebrates its centenary in 2021 and becoming a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious when the People's Republic celebrates its centenary in 2049)?

The Belt and Road Initiative aims to promote common development and win-win cooperation. China does not intend to monopolize all the benefits or even take the lion's share, but will work with partner countries to make the pie bigger and divide it equitably. In this process, through strengthened cooperation among the parties, we will make contribution to the international community as well as promote reform and development at home. China will pursue its development in the context of international cooperation by fully reflecting international consensus.

As its economy enters the "new normal", China faces both opportunities and challenges, particularly regional disparity. With an emphasis on expanding westward opening-up, the Belt and Road Initiative will accelerate development of China's western region, and contribute to a more coordinated development of the whole country. The Initiative covers multiple provinces, autonomous regions and major municipalities in China's interior and coastal regions. It hews closely to China's regional development strategy, new urbanization strategy and opening-up strategy, and will provide a strong boost to China's all-dimensional opening-up.

The Belt and Road Initiative will create synergy between China's efforts to boost international economic cooperation and to deepen reform and opening-up, enable China and partner countries to jointly pursue the new vision of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development, and facilitate China's endeavor to implement the 13th Five-Year Plan, boost all-round reform and opening-up, and achieve the two centenary goals. We are full of expectations and confidence about this.

China successfully hosted the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Beijing in 2014 and the G20 Summit in Hangzhou in 2016. How is the Belt and Road Forum different from these two events and what are its unique features?

The AEPC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Beijing, the G20 Summit in Hangzhou and the BRF are all important international conferences. The three events follow the same idea, namely, the emphasis on openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, on connectivity and interconnected development and on innovative development to tap potential driving forces and contribute to the well-being of people around the world.

The BRF has its own features compared with the previous two events. First, the Belt and Road Initiative is an international initiative for cooperation launched by China. The Forum is the first of its kind. Nevertheless, it is easier to draw the most beautiful picture on a piece of blank paper. Second, the Belt and Road Initiative is open to countries of different regions. The idea originates from the ancient Silk Road but the Initiative is not confined to it. We welcome the participation of various countries, international organizations, multinational corporations, financial institutions and non-governmental organizations in specific cooperation projects for achievements through concerted efforts. Third, compared with the well-established mechanisms that have long been in operation such as APEC and the G20, the Forum is more flexible in agenda items, cooperation areas and ways to advance cooperation. It will fully accommodate the comfort level and accessibility for the parties concerned.

We believe that the Forum will be a useful platform for strengthening coordination, mutual complementarity and international cooperation. We hope to work with other participating parties to push forward the Belt and Road Initiative so as to lay a solid foundation for the kind of cooperation that will facilitate long-term development and benefit the people, and usher in a better future for all.

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