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Building the Belt and Road Together, Developing an Open World Economy

Submit Time:05-07-2017 | Zoom In | Zoom Out

Author:Zhong Shan | Source:People’s Daily

Abstract:

  President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech on the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, in which he clarified the Spirit of Silk Road that is based on peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit, looked back the fruitful results of the Belt and Road Initiative over the last four years, and proposed a beautiful vision of building the road for peace, road of prosperity, road of openness, road of innovation and road connecting different civilizations. He pointed out the direction and path for building a community of shared future for mankind, and renovated the theory and practice of the opening up and development, which are integral parts of the new theories, ideas and strategies in party and state governance. We should deepen the study and implementation of the spirits in the Belt and Road Forum, carry forward the Belt and Road Initiative and deepen economic and trade cooperation, so as to make due contribution to building an open world economy.

  Showing the responsibility of the great power to promote common development of all countries

  The important speech delivered by President Xi Jinping showed the strategic vision and the broad mind of Chinese leader, manifested the active attitudes that China takes towards building an open world economy, and showed the responsibility of the great power to promote common development of all countries. It has won high reputation from the international community, achieved broad consensus and encouraged the participation of other countries.

  Illustrating the profound meaning of the Spirit of Silk Road and contributing Chinese wisdom to building an open world economy. President Xi pointed out that “Spanning thousands miles and years, the ancient Silk Road embodies the spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit. It is the precious legacy of human civilization.” Originated from Chinese civilization, the Spirit of Silk Road is the brainchild of Chinese civilization and world civilization. It is the oriental wisdom that China contributes to the international community. Peace and cooperation requires dialogue and equal communication. Openness and inclusiveness requires that civilization thrives with openness and nations prosper through exchange. Mutual learning requires learning widely from other’s strength and progress together. Mutual benefit requires a win-win result and common development. The Belt and Road Initiative is open, inclusive and universal. Based on the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration, the Belt and Road Initiative follows the trend of the times and is full of emotional appeal. So far, over 100 countries and international organizations have supported or participated in the initiative. The United Nations has incorporated the Belt and Road Initiative into its resolution.

  Concluding the fruitful results of the last four years and injecting Chinese power into the building of an open world economy. President Xi Jinping pointed out that the visions of the Belt and Road Initiative is becoming a reality and bearing rich fruit. Over the last four years, the Belt and Road Initiative has witnessed more willingness of cooperation of partner countries, expanded the field of cooperation, upgraded the level of cooperation, driven the economy of relevant countries, promoted industrial and technical cooperation and communication, and brought real benefits to people from all countries. From 2014 to 2016, the investment to countries along the Belt and Road has exceeded 3 trillion dollars, with an accumulated investment of over 50 billion dollars. Chinese enterprises set up 56 economic and trade cooperation zones in over 20 countries, creating 1.1 billion dollars of tax revenue and 180 thousand job opportunities to partner countries. Products, technologies, services and capital also flow endlessly from countries along the Belt and Road to China. “Made in China”, “Construction by China” and “Service from China” are more welcomed by these countries. The Belt and Road Initiative is gaining popularity with an enlarging friend circle.

  Depicting the beautiful vision of building the Belt and Road and contributing Chinese thoughts to building an open world economy. President Xi Jinping proposed “to build the Belt and Road into a road for peace, road of prosperity, road of openness, road of innovation and road connecting different civilizations”. The road for peace pushes for win-win cooperation by establishing a partnership with mutual respect. The road of prosperity focuses on development by strengthening industrial and financial cooperation and promoting infrastructure connectivity. The road of openness is driven by the opening up and aims at solving problems in the economic growth and maintaining the balance. The road of innovation insists on promoting development through innovation by gathering innovative resources and optimizing innovation environment. The road connecting different civilizations focuses on deepening people-to-people communication and creating more channels of cooperation. These five roads are in line with innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development, and draw a beautiful blueprint of the economic globalization that is featured by openness, inclusiveness, mutual benefits, balance and win-win results and points out the way forward.

  Announcing the significant measure of win-win cooperation and taking on Chinese responsibility for building an open world economy. President Xi Jinping pointed out that guided by the vision of innovative, coordinated, green, open and inclusive development, we will adapt to and steer the new normal of economic development and seize opportunities it presents. We will actively promote supply-side structural reform to achieve sustainable development, inject strong impetus into the Belt and Road Initiative and create new opportunities for global development. On the Belt and Road Forum, China has announced a series of pragmatic measures aiming at developing economic and trade cooperation partnership, promoting connection with other countries, enhancing innovative cooperation, strengthening financial support to infrastructure and aiding livelihood projects. The scale of determination is unprecedentedly large and the dynamics are unprecedentedly high. It releases a signal that China opens up the market even further, manifests China’s sincerity to share development opportunities with other countries and speaks for China’s determination on supporting the healthy development of economic globalization. These measures will be implemented step by step, help participants to involve in the economic globalization better and provide strong support for building an open world economy.

  Upholding and developing an open world economy jointly

  President Xi Jinping pointed out that we should uphold and build an open world economy, jointly create an environment that will facilitate the opening up and development, establish a fair, equitable and transparent system of international trade and investment rules. At present, three conflicts, namely lacking dynamics of global growth, imbalanced development and lagging economic governance, have far from being solved. The Belt and Road Initiative is in line with partner countries’ need and provide new solutions for coordinating joint development and realizing common prosperity of partner countries.

  Building the Belt and Road together and joining hands to promote global economic growth. Currently, the recovery of the world economic is weak, trade and investment keep meltdown, the role of traditional engines to drive growth has weakened and new economic growth point has yet to be formed. Under such circumstance, the most pressing task before us is to steer the global economy out of difficulty. President Xi Jinping put forward that promoting the Belt and Road Initiative relies on development to release potential of partner countries and realize economic integration, joint development and shared outcome. The Belt and Road Initiative makes policy coordination, infrastructure connectivity, trade connectivity, financial integration and people-to-people bond its main content, which facilitates partner countries to play on their competitive advantages, expand the convergence of interest, nurture new function, promote an organized and free flow of economic factors, allocate resources efficiently and integrate market in depth, thus enhancing the dynamics of global economic growth. In the next five years, China will import more than 8000 billion dollars of goods, and make over 750 billion dollars of direct investment. In particular, 2000 billion dollars of goods will be imported from countries along the Belt and Road and the foreign direct investment will exceed 150 billion dollars. This will bring huge commercial opportunities for all countries.

  Building the Belt and Road together and joining hands to promote the development of win-win result and mutual benefits. In today’s world, the imbalance of economic development is protruding, and the gap between the rich and the poor and between the north and the south is yet severe. Poverty and a series of difficulties that derived from it such as hunger, disease and social conflicts have plagued many countries. President Xi Jinping addressed that we should focus on resolving issues such as imbalances in development, difficulties in governance, digital divide and income disparity. China’s development benefits from the international community and we are ready to take on international responsibility and obligation and provide aid to developing countries. On the Belt and Road Forum, China promised to provide no less than 60 billion yuan of assistance to countries along the Belt and Road in the following three years, provide 1 billion dollars to relevant international organizations, carry out cooperation projects that will benefit countries along the Belt and Road, involve 10 thousand people from partner countries in the study and training programs of China in the following five years and help partner countries to strengthen their capacity building.

  Building the Belt and Road together and joining hands to promote global governance reform. At the time, the global economy is undergoing downturns. Anti-globalization and protectionism rise up its head. Fragmented problems in international trade rules are conspicuous. The global economic governance system lags behind and cannot adapt to the new changes in the world economy. President Xi Jinping said China welcomes partner countries to develop an open economy according to their national characteristics, participate in global governance and public good supply, and join hands to build an extensive community of interest. The pursuit of this initiative is based on extensive consultation and its benefits will be shared by us all. It provides a new mode to the global economic governance system. New financial institutions such as the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Silk Road Fund have become a beneficial complementary to the existing international financial system. On the Belt and Road Forum, we proposed the Initiative on Promoting Unimpeded Trade Cooperation along the Belt and Road, in which 83 countries and international organizations participated. China’s stance and proposal have become broad consensus.

  Steadily expanding pragmatic economic and trade cooperation

  President Xi pointed out that on the new starting point, we should take responsible leadership, make pioneering effort and move the international cooperation of the Belt and Road Initiative forward with pragmatic actions. The economic and trade cooperation is an important part of the Belt and Road Initiative. We should steadily expand pragmatic economic and trade cooperation and turn broad consensus into common efforts, turn series measures into actual benefits so that the benefits of the Belt and Road Forum can yield fruitful results as soon as possible.

  Implementing the Initiative on Promoting Unimpeded Trade Cooperation along the Belt and Road. The Cooperation Initiative is a major achievement of the Belt and Road Forum. It is significant to promoting the growth of global trade and investment and increasing the voice of China in the global economic governance. We should improve communication and implement follow-up actions, make full use of joint committee of economics and trade, mixed committee of economics and trade and other cooperation mechanisms to promote economic globalization, support multilateral trading systems and boost trade and investment liberation and facilitation. We should implement a series of measures that facilitate trade growth, revitalize mutual investment and promote inclusiveness and sustainable development.

  Successfully holding China International Import Expo. This is a great event for promoting the Belt and Road Initiative and a new round of opening up. It facilitates China to expand the opening up, help partner countries with trade growth and stimulate global trade growth. The expo has won active response and high reputation from the international community. We should design and organize China International Import Expo, innovate new ways to organize the expo and conduct cooperation, attract more countries and regions to participate so as to create an open international cooperation platform of high-level and great influence.

  Improving the level of trade and investment facilitation. We should put in place projects of infrastructure connectivity involving railway, highway, port and aviation, strengthen trade facilitation and infrastructure cooperation, and connect international channels. We should speed up the implementation of WTO’s Agreement on Trade Facilitation, promote the construction of “single window” of international trade and speed up the integration of custom clearance. We should boost the healthy and orderly development of China Railway Express, connect the trade corridor linking Asia and Europe and engage in more commercial and investment agreements with other countries.

  Promoting the building of the opening up platform. We should balance the establishment of 11 pilot free trade zones and play the role of the vanguard of the reform and opening up and the pioneer of innovation and development. We should speed up the innovation and transformation of economic and technological development zone, promote the construction of border economic and trade cooperation zone, cross-border economic and trade cooperation zone and overseas economic and trade cooperation zone, so as to build a series of cooperation zones that yield benefits, generate broad influence and create job opportunities.

  Actively engaging in making international economic and trade rules. We should uphold the position as a major channel of multilateral trading system, drive the positive outcome of the ministerial conference of WTO, and promote the development of the multilateral trading system in a balanced, mutual beneficial and inclusive way. We should implement the follow-up actions of the G20 Hangzhou Summit, and establish and develop trade and investment mechanisms. We should implement the follow-up actions of the Beijing Roadmap for APEC, push the agenda for the future, and specify economic and trade cooperation mechanism among BRICS countries.

  Promoting the establishment of free trade zone. We should build the free trade zone network along the Belt and Road, discuss the establishment of free trade zone with interested countries and regions, speed up negotiation on comprehensive economic partnership agreement and promote the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific. We should fully implement the Protocol on Upgrading the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area as soon as possible, conduct upgrading negotiation on free trade zone with relevant countries, add new agendas such as environment protection and e-commerce, and increase the level of free trade zone.

  Implementing foreign aid measures. We should implement foreign aid measures discussed on the Belt and Road Forum, help developing countries along the Belt and Road to develop economy and improve their livelihood. We should promote the construction of three “100” assistance projects, provide more assistance in culture, sport and health, and cement popular support for the Belt and Road Initiative. We should expand the team of exchange students, improve talent training and support the capacity building of countries along the Belt and Road. And we should work together to implement 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of United Nations.

                                          (Unit of the author: Ministry of Commerce)


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