B&R Forum concludes in Beijing with 270 concrete results
2017-05-15 21:58 GMT+860km to Beijing
The first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation concluded in Beijing on Monday with more than 270 deliverables achieved in boosting connectivity between countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, according to a joint communique released after the two-day event.
The document reaffirmed the vision of the initiative "to work for a globalization that is open, inclusive and beneficial to all," and congratulated China on successfully hosting the event.
Chinese President Xi Jinping's press conference
The forum, attended by more than 1,500 delegates from over 130 nations, including 29 foreign heads of state and government leaders, was the highest-level conference on the Belt and Road Initiative since Chinese President Xi Jinping first raised the concept in 2013.
"We have reached broad consensus and adopted a joint communique," President Xi said at a press conference after the Leaders' Roundtable Summit on Monday afternoon, adding that the leaders agreed to set up a "stable and sustainable financial support system with risks controllable" for the Belt and Road development.
They also agreed on broader channels, innovative methods and lower financing costs, Xi said.
Participants of the initiative will champion the Silk Road spirit and stay committed to win-win cooperation, meanwhile, China will not pursue any political agenda or make exclusive arrangements, he stressed.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, foreign delegation heads and guests pose for a group photo at the Leaders' Roundtable Summit of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation at Yanqi Lake International Convention Center in Beijing on May 15, 2017. /Xinhua Photo
"We support green and low carbon development," the Chinese president said.
He announced China had already signed Belt and Road cooperation agreements with 68 countries and international organizations and that the country would hold its second forum on international cooperation within under the Belt and Road framework in 2019.
Xi expressed his confidence in the initiative's future and called it "a long-term undertaking."
At a separate press conference in Beijing, Russian President Vladimir Putin said China's Belt and Road Initiative was "timely" as the international community face growing instability.
According to the joint communique, national governments, local authorities and enterprises reached a number of cooperation agreements, policy measures and practical results in the lead-up to and during the forum.
The Chinese organizer has put together a list of major deliverables of the forum, including 76 items that comprise more than 270 concrete results in five key areas, namely policy, infrastructure, trade, financial and people-to-people connectivity, which are largely in line with Xi's pledges in his keynote speech at Sunday's opening ceremony.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, his wife Peng Liyuan and other distinguished guests of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation attend a welcome banquet in Beijing on May 14, 2017. /Xinhua Photo
China signed MOUs on Belt and Road cooperation with Mongolia, Pakistan, Nepal, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Timor-Leste, Singapore, Myanmar and Malaysia.
It also signed cooperation documents with a number of international organizations such as the United Nations Development Program, the UN Industrial Development Organization, the UN Human Settlements Program, and the UN International Children's Fund.
During the forum, the Chinese government also inked economic and trade cooperation agreements with 30 countries such as Vietnam, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Indonesia, Uzbekistan and Belarus.
The list also highlighted China's promises to scale up financing support for the initiative, including expanding the Silk Road Fund by 100 billion yuan (about 14.5 billion US dollars), encouraging financial institutions to conduct overseas fund business in RMB with an estimated amount of about 300 billion yuan (about 43.5 billion US dollars) and providing replenishment of one billion US dollars to the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund.
Chinese President Xi Jinping chairs the Leaders' Roundtable Summit at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation at Yanqi Lake International Convention Center in Beijing on May 15, 2017. /Xinhua Photo
The Asian Financial Cooperation Association has been officially established, the document said.
The northeastern region of China and the Far East of Russia will get more support in expanding their cooperation, as the National Development and Reform Commission of China plans to set up a China-Russia Regional Cooperation Development Investment Fund with a total scale of 100 billion yuan (about 14.5 billion US dollars) and an initial scale of 10 billion yuan (about 1.45 billion US dollars), according to the joint communique.
Gathering of world leaders
The just-concluded Belt and Road Forum is the first of its kind, and despite its tight schedule and various activities, it provided an ideal opportunity for world leaders to exchange views on cooperation and deepen their understanding of each other.
The forum kicked off in the Chinese capital on Sunday morning, with Xi, Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivering keynote speeches respectively.
Peng Liyuan (in green), wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping, with spouses of foreign delegation heads, who are in Beijing for the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, in front of the Hall of Supreme Harmony (Taihe Dian) at the Palace Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage, in Beijing on May 15, 2017. /Xinhua Photo
Also on Sunday, Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde addressed the High-Level Plenary Meeting of the forum, which was followed by a banquet and a special gala with the theme of "Millennial Road."
The second day of the event mainly featured the Leaders' Roundtable Summit hosted by the Chinese president and attended by other heads of state and government, where Xi reiterated that the open initiative belongs to the world.