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Mekong River countries can become major cooperation partners in Belt and Road Initiative: State councilor

Updated: Mar 31,2018 7:09 AM     Xinhua

HANOI — State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on March 30 that Mekong River countries can become major partners in the joint development of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

Wang made the comments here at the business summit of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Economic Cooperation while responding to a question concerning opportunities brought to the GMS countries by the initiative.

Wang is in Vietnam to attend the sixth summit of the GMS Economic Cooperation and to pay an official visit to the country from March 30 to April 2.

The Belt and Road Initiative is not only a public good China has offered to the world, but also a sunshine initiative aimed at promoting win-win cooperation, Wang said, adding that from the very beginning, it has followed the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits.

Therefor, Belt and Road cooperation bears the striking characteristics of equality, openness and inclusiveness, he noted.

Proposed by China in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aiming at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of Silk Road.

Pointing out that the GMS was historically the convergence area of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, Wang said that today in the 21st century, the GMS countries can become major partners in the joint development of the initiative.

Five Mekong River Subregion countries — Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam have all signed cooperation agreements with China on the joint development of the Belt and Road Initiative, and they also attended the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation which was held last May in Beijing, Wang said.

At present, such major projects as China-Laos railway, China-Thailand railway and China-Myanmar land and water coordinated transport are also making progress, he added.

The Mekong River Subregion countries are the earliest participants of the Belt and Road Initiative and also they are the earliest beneficiaries of the initiative, Wang stressed.

According to Wang, China has been preparing for the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. With concerted efforts, the Belt and Road Initiative is bound to be able to become the largest and the most popular platform for international cooperation in the world, Wang said.

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