On October 18, 2023, the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation opened in Beijing, with representatives from more than 140 countries and more than 30 international organizations. At the opening ceremony, Chinese President Xi Jinping reviewed the 10-year grand journey of Belt and Road Cooperation (BRI), summarized its outstanding achievements and experiences, and outlined eight key measures to support high-quality cooperation, ushering in a new chapter in the next golden decade.
Magnificent symphony of history and reality
The BRI, rooted in history, responds to questions raised by reality. In history, our ancestors created a land Silk Road connecting Asia, Europe and Africa, and opened a maritime one connecting East and West, initiating a new phase of friendly exchanges between people and shaping the spirit of the Silk Road that It is characterized by peace and cooperation, openness and inclusion, learning and mutual benefit. In 2013, Xi unveiled the BRI and reinvigorated the ancient silk routes in the new era. Currently, the world is going through changes never seen in a century. Economic globalization faces countercurrents and the world economy faces the risk of recession. Around 90% of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals have “derailed” and almost a third of the goals have stagnated or even regressed. The world’s attention is focused on Beijing, hoping that China will lead the way. At this critical juncture, Xi, in his opening speech, declared that China will take eight important steps, including building a multi-dimensional road and belt connectivity network, supporting an open world economy, carrying out practical cooperation to support a high-quality Belt and Road, promoting green development, advancing scientific and technological innovation, supporting people-to-people exchanges, promoting cooperation based on the integrity of the BRI, and strengthening institutional construction for international cooperation, thereby injecting strong momentum into high-quality cooperation and global modernization.
Perfect convergence of concepts and practices
It is excellent in both ideas and real results. The BRI is aligned with the concept of a global community with a shared future and has been welcomed by the international community as a public good and a platform for cooperation, and has achieved solid results. More than 150 countries and 30 international organizations have signed BRI cooperation documents with China, establishing more than 3,000 cooperation projects, generating almost a billion US dollars in investment and recording fruitful achievements in physical, institutional and interpersonal connectivity: a major number of flagship projects and “small but smart” programs; BRI cooperation in Health, Green, Digital and Innovation has made steady progress; more than 20 specialized multilateral cooperation platforms were created; exchanges and connectivity between people were deepened. Important guiding principles for high-quality BRI cooperation have been established, which include the principle of “plan together, build together and benefit together”, the philosophy of open, green and clean cooperation, and the objective of seeking high-standard cooperation , people-centered and sustainable. All these flourishing achievements composed an inspiring symphony in the new era.
The BRI, proposed by China, belongs to the entire world. Under the guidance of the BRI, China is opening its doors even further to the world, with its inland regions transforming from “side” to “forward”, and its coastal regions reaching new heights in their openness. China’s market has become even more integrated with the global market. The BRI has injected new momentum into the global economy, created new opportunities for global development, and improved the development capacity and well-being of the people of stakeholders. Research shows that due to BRI, the cost of global trade was reduced by 1.8%, trade between participating countries increased between 2.8% and 9.7%, global trade increased between 1.7% and 6.2% and overall yield increased by 0.7% and 2.9%. By 2030, BRI transport projects could help lift 7.6 million people out of extreme poverty and 32 million people out of moderate poverty. UN Secretary-General António Guterres praised the fact that the BRI brings hope and progress to billions of people around the world.
Ten years is just the prologue. Facing changes that have consequences for the world, for our times and for history, the BRI, from a new historical point, opens a new window of opportunity for China and the world with higher quality products and greater development. level, and makes people’s desire for a happy life at a fast pace real.
Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Macao SAR