BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday called for saluting all the participants and builders involved in the Belt and Road cooperation.
He made the remarks at a welcome banquet hosted for guests attending the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.
Over the past 10 years since the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was launched, China and BRI partners have worked together to uphold the Silk Road spirit, contribute to global connectivity, build platforms for international economic cooperation, and add momentum to world economic growth, Xi noted.
The BRI has delivered thousands of practical cooperation projects, and achieved solid and substantial results, Xi said, adding that the achievements of the Belt and Road cooperation are neither a windfall nor made with others’ alms-giving and charity, but are earned by governments, enterprises and the people of participating countries with their diligence, wisdom and courage.
“The Belt and Road cooperation pursues development, aims at mutual benefits, and conveys a message of hope,” said Xi, noting that the historical trend of peace, development and win-win cooperation is unstoppable, and people’s longing for a better life as well as the aspiration of all countries for common development and prosperity is irresistible.
The Belt and Road cooperation is in its prime after a vigorous decade and is heading toward the next golden decade, Xi said, stressing the need to keep an enterprising spirit.
The Chinese president vowed that the high-quality Belt and Road cooperation will create a brighter future for humanity with the concerted efforts of all participating countries.
Chinese President Xi Jinping met with world leaders who came for the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) in Beijing on Tuesday, and more and more heads of state, government leaders and officials, as well as leaders of international organizations have arrived in China’s capital city, making the BRF the most attractive and anticipated international event at the moment.
Chinese analysts said that by actively participating in the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), members of international community are giving their vote of confidence to China’s economic strength, political influence and credibility to guide global recovery and help the world to overcome its challenges.
On Tuesday, Xi met with leaders including Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Chilean President Gabriel Boric, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Papua New Guinean Prime Minister James Marape.
And on the same day, more and more leaders from different countries and international organizations arrived, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Argentine President Alberto Fernandez, Vietnamese President Vo Van Thuong, President of Mongolia Ukhnaa Khurelsukh and Prime Minister of Mozambique Adriano Maleiane.
Leaders of other countries including Pakistan’s Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar, Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, Kenyan President William Ruto, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet, Lao President Thongloun Sisoulith, Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe and President of the Republic of the Congo Denis Sassou Nguesso have arrived, and some of them had meetings with Chinese leaders.
Apart from incumbent leaders, many former leaders and non-governmental figures also came for the BRF this year, including a delegation of French experts on the BRI who also arrived in Beijing and met with Chinese senior officials.
Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Tuesday that the active participation of the international community makes the BRF a spectacular event, and this just proves that China is a major power with significant international influence which is also well-respected around the globe. The BRI is a popular public good that China has contributed to the world, and the initiative has now become even more important and influential, he added.
During the talks with the Chinese president, the foreign leaders all mentioned the achievements that they had created with China under the framework of the BRI in the past decade, and they all appreciated China’s contribution and help to their countries’ development, reported the Xinhua News Agency. They expressed confidence and firm support to China and the China-proposed BRI, and hoped that the initiative can bring changes to the world and benefit more people.
They also opposed the act of “decoupling” and the so-called de-risking that aims at containing China and serving hegemonic purpose, and some of them who are deeply concerned about the ongoing hotspot issues like the Ukraine crisis and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict also vowed to maintain communication and coordination with China to promote political settlement and mediation.
“In order to correctly understand the nature of the BRI, we must first recognize that the members of the Global South, or the developing countries, are the main participants, representing the future growth pole of the world market. The BRI is in line with the trend of overall rise among the Global South,” Huang Renwei, executive director-general of the Fudan Institute for Belt and Road and Global Governance, told media.
Therefore, the negative attitudes of the US and some of its followers in the West are not that important, and their isolation against China or the BRI will eventually make themselves isolated, experts said.
The BRI provides the economic foundation for the Global South, connecting related countries and forming new and bigger markets, Huang said. “Some countries want to cut China off from the Global South, but the fact is that countries in the South will not ‘decouple’ from China, but will cooperate more closely with China,” he noted.