Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi stressed on Friday that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) China proposed is a joint cause of all partners. It is the road of hope, development, opportunity and green that bolsters high-quality development amid the spread of COVID-19.
Wang made the remarks at the 2021 meeting of the Advisory Council of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation via video link.
Noting that this year marks the eighth anniversary of the BRI, Wang reviewed the concrete results achieved through the initiative in the past eight years.
According to Wang, China and the cooperation partners, guided by the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, have achieved solid and significant outcomes in high-quality Belt and Road cooperation with hard connectivity as the direction, soft connectivity as the support and people-to-people connectivity as the bond.
He spoke highly of BRI cooperation during the COVID-19 outbreak. Instead of being halted because of the COVID-19, "…on the contrary, it has become a road of hope that bolsters resilience and boosts confidence. The BRI has never been a geopolitical strategy, but a road of development that helps deliver the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and drives shared progress and prosperity," Wang said.
The Chinese foreign minister rejected claims of the BRI creating the so-called "debt trap." He stressed that the BRI also serves as a road of opportunity that delivers mutual benefit as well as a green road that facilitates low-carbon growth, environmental protection and climate response.
In the face of the combined impacts of the pandemic and major changes unseen in a century, Wang said China hopes to work jointly with partners in the following four fronts:
First, Wang said that China calls on partners to uphold a people-centered philosophy of cooperation.
"We will continue to focus on economic growth, job creation, livelihood protection and poverty reduction, and deepen practical cooperation with partner countries in the economic, trade, health, poverty reduction, education and agricultural fields," Wang pledged, adding there will be more cooperation projects as well as more anti-COVID cooperation.
"We will fulfill our commitments announced by President Xi Jinping of providing another one billion doses of COVID vaccines to Africa and donating an additional 150 million doses to ASEAN countries," Wang reaffirmed, promising that China will deepen cooperation with other developing countries on the joint production of vaccines for an early victory over COVID-19.
Second, China hopes all partners would continue following the cooperation principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, Wang noted.
Stressing that the BRI is the common cause of all partners, the Chinese foreign minister proposed to improve bilateral, trilateral and multilateral cooperation mechanisms of the BRI global partnership.
"Following the principles of openness, inclusiveness and transparency, China welcomes more countries and institutions to join tripartite or multiparty cooperation under the BRI," he stated.
Third, Wang suggested that all partners should carry out high-quality and high-standard cooperation under the framework of the BRI.
He vowed to align with the widely accepted international rules and standards more proactively, carry out more high-quality projects, build up connectivity with other countries and welcome the participation of more countries on Green Development.
Fourth, China hopes that all partners will stay committed to embracing the vision of cooperation for common development around the world, Wang said.
He hopes that the BRI would become "a pathway to poverty alleviation for developing countries."
"Through Belt and Road cooperation, we seek to help other developing countries, especially the least developed ones, in their efforts to reduce poverty, and make the BRI a pathway to poverty alleviation for developing countries," he stated.
In the end, the Chinese foreign minister reiterated China's commitment to openness. "China will stick to openness instead of closing doors to the outside world, and follow win-win results instead of seeking zero-sum game, so as to contribute to building a community with a shared future for humanity through high-quality B&R construction."
(Cover: Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (C) addresses the 2021 meeting of the Advisory Council of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation via video link, December 17, 2021. /Chinese Foreign Ministry)