BEIJING — The “Belt and Road” initiative, the grand trade and infrastructure plan, may have only originated in China in 2013 but already it has delivered benefits well beyond its borders.
Building upon the spirit of the ancient routes, the modern Belt and Road is a transnational network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa, with the aim of promoting common development among all the countries involved.
The initiative is not a solo performance. It is a symphony played by multiple performers according to their talents. There can be no hogging the limelight of growth and development. The stage is big enough to be shared by all.
Openness, inclusiveness and mutual benefit are the hallmarks of the Belt and Road; the source of the strong support it has garnered.
Since 2013, over 100 countries and international organizations have given warm responses to the initiative, with the signing of nearly 50 inter-governmental agreements of cooperation.
The ambitious plan is not empty talk. It is a framework under which concrete, targeted projects and measures, which are consistent with local demands, are rolled out to aid development.
Chinese companies have invested more than $50 billion and built 56 economic and trade cooperation zones in 20 countries along the routes, generating nearly $1.1 billion in tax revenue, creating 180,000 local jobs and spurring the economic development of these countries.
A 3.37km water pipeline project, completed by a Chinese company, in a Jordanian township is among the latest infrastructure projects. A total of 500,000 people living in an area of extreme water shortage now have access to water 24 hours a day, thanks to the project.
In a month, China will host the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to explore ways to address problems facing global and regional economy, create fresh energy for pursuing inter-connected development.
The significance of the event, which takes the theme “boosting cooperation and realizing win-win development,” is especially timely given the rise of protectionism and anti-globalization.
The global economy has remained sluggish for quite some time. Income inequality and uneven development all weigh heavily on global social stability.
The Belt and Road initiative, which embodies responsibility, win-win cooperation and genuine pursuit of common development, offers the world a Chinese approach to the challenges of today; a balanced, equitable and inclusive development model.
We are closer today than we have ever been. The world is a close-knit community of shared future. Our interests and pursuits are extensive and mutually dependent. We should all pursue a well-coordinated and inter-connected approach.
The history books can show us — isolation and exclusivity will lead nowhere, neither will protectionism and anti-globalism deliver.
Opening up and cooperation are the prerequisites of a bright future, and China welcomes anyone who wants to jump on its express train of development.
We should continue to champion an open global economy to share opportunities and interests and achieve win-win results. Efforts need to be redoubled to develop global connectivity to enable all countries to achieve inter-connected growth and share the prosperity.