The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation reached its goals, with participants having achieved a “sense of gain” and finding the trip to Beijing rewarding, State Councilor Yang Jiechi said on May 17.
“We strongly feel that there is growing enthusiasm in the international community to approve, support and participate in the Belt and Road Initiative. The consensus is increasing,” Yang, who was in charge of preparations for the forum, said in a news release.
The forum, which was held in Beijing on May 14 and 15, was the highest-level meeting regarding the Belt and Road Initiative since it was put forward by President Xi Jinping in 2013.
Twenty-nine foreign heads of state and government attended the forum. More than 1,500 delegates from over 130 countries and 70 international organizations also took part.
“More importantly, the international leaders and representatives from all sides are all optimistic about the initiative’s prospects. They all hope to use the initiative as an opportunity, and the forum as a platform, to find the solutions to cope with challenges, to build the momentum for joint development and push forward cooperation in concrete forms,” he said.
He said the forum had many successful outcomes and numerous highlights as it has further made clear the future direction of cooperation under the initiative and drew a concrete road map for the initiative.
China has so far signed cooperative agreements with 68 countries and international organizations concerning the initiative, including those signed during the forum.
The forum’s participants also determined the key projects that will be implemented under the initiative, as a list of major outcomes was approved at the closing ceremony that included 76 items involving more than 270 concrete results in the key areas of policy, infrastructure, trade, finance and people-to-people exchanges.
Meanwhile, China has pledged to further boost financial support to the initiative as President Xi announced that the country will contribute an additional 100 billion yuan ($14.49 billion) to the Silk Road Fund in his keynote address at the forum’s opening ceremony.
The fund will provide more definitive support in investment and financing to push the initiative ahead, Yang said.
“In a situation where the global economy is faced with a sluggish growth, China has always been actively trying to find a solution for the world economy,” he added.
In a daily news conference on May 17, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying refuted statements saying that China hosted the forum to improve its international influence or leadership. “It is better to say that China dares to take responsibilities,” she said.
While it is China’s consistent position that all countries are equal regardless of their size, China also believes global powers have more resources and capabilities, so they should shoulder more responsibilities and make more contributions, she said.