PARIS — Though originating from China, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) brings opportunities and fruitful results to the whole world, visiting State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on May 16.
Wang made the remark at a press briefing following his meeting with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
Wang said that since the BRI was proposed five years ago, the total trade volume between China and the countries along the land and maritime trade routes has exceeded $4 trillion, and the total investment $60 billion.
Direct flights have been launched between China and 43 countries along the routes, while over 7,500 direct freight trains have traveled between Chinese and European cities, Wang said.
China has established 75 overseas economic cooperation zones, creating around 200,000 jobs for relevant countries, he added.
“In light of the international situation characterized by uncertainty, the BRI offers a new path to common development and prosperity for all the countries, and has demonstrated strong vitality and broad prospects,” said Wang.
In addition, Wang addressed the concerns of some Europeans over the BRI.
“The BRI adheres to the principles of transparency and inclusiveness,” he said. “We certainly strive to achieve high quality and high standards, and comply with international regulations and market rules, while attaching great importance to the sustainability of debts and environment protection.”
Nevertheless, given the large number of participating countries, which are in different developing phases, it is necessary to take into account the practical needs of each country while implementing the BRI, Wang explained.
“China and France can jointly take part in the BRI construction, especially in expanding third-party markets, through which they will be able to complement each other and find more space for cooperation,” he said.