SCIO briefing on 'The Belt and Road Initiative: Progress, Contributions and Prospects'

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Xiao Weiming, director general of the Department of General Affairs at the Office of the Leading Group for Promoting the Belt and Road Initiative;

Song Lihong, director general of the Comprehensive Department at the Ministry of Commerce

Hu Kaihong, spokesperson for the State Council Information Office of China

April 22, 2019

China News Service:

Just like what you said, Mr. Xiao, the Belt and Road Initiative will become the road of peace, prosperity, opening up, green development and innovation, the road connecting different civilizations and the road with high ethical standards. May I ask you to elaborate on the specific plans and designs that China has endeavored to achieve in the aforementioned goals.

Xiao Weiming:

Thank you. First, please allow me to help review the origins of the seven aspects of the abovementioned "road." In May 2017, Xi Jinping, the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), pointed out at the opening ceremony of the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation that the Belt and Road Initiative should become the road of peace, prosperity, opening up and innovation as well as a road connecting different civilizations. This set the tone and outlined the initiative's five functions. At the same time, he also stressed that we should strengthen international counter-corruption cooperation so that the Belt and Road will be a road with high ethical standards. During last year's Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, General Secretary Xi proposed to adopt the principle of green development when executing the Belt and Road Initiative. Those are the seven principles of the "road," around which our prospects and preliminary plans have formed.

In view of the road being one that leads to peace, we are willing to pursue common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security with the rest of the world, while adhering to the global governance principle of sharing growth through discussions and collaboration. We hope that we can jointly establish dispute settlement, risk early-warning and prevention and control mechanisms, all be resolved to combating terrorism, secessionism and extremism. We want to also promote a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation, forge partnerships of dialogue with no confrontation and of friendship rather than alliance.  

In view of the road being one that leads to prosperity, we hope that we can press ahead with interconnectivity whether on land, at sea, in the air or through the internet, with the rest of the world. We will expand bilateral and multilateral investment and trade, deepen industrial cooperation, cultivate new driving forces and new business models. We also want to establish a stable and sustainable financial service system that keeps risks under control, and achieve economic integration and interconnected development to the benefit of all participants.

In view of the road being one that leads to further opening-up, China upholds and strengthens the multilateral trade system which is rule-based, open, transparent, inclusive and non-discriminative. China promotes liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment by building high-standard free trade areas jointly with other countries. We'll follow the rules of the market as well as internationally applicable standards and rules to build a global economy that is fully open. 

In view of the construction of the Green Silk Road, we are willing to work with countries around the world to implement the overall concept of green development, deepen international cooperation, jointly address various challenges, strengthen ecosystem protection and restoration, as well as exploring the development of green finance. We are committed to creating a way of life and work that is green, low-carbon, circular and sustainable, so as to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations.

In view of building a road of innovation, we want to develop a national-level joint scientific research platform with various countries around the world, thus forming a multi-level and diversified scientific and cultural exchange mechanism. We are also willing to strengthen cooperation in frontier, cutting-edge sectors such as the artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and quantum computers, as well as promoting intellectual property protection.

In terms of building a road that brings together different civilizations, we seek to deepen cooperation with many countries around the world in regard to education, science and technology, culture, health, sports, media, tourism and other fields. We will also strengthen our exchanges between political parties, think tanks and non-governmental organizations, as well as promoting exchanges between women and youth. In fulfilling these goals, we are willing to continue providing assistance within our capacity to developing countries along the Belt and Road routes.

In terms of building a road reflecting the high ethical standards, we wish to work with various countries to strengthen supervision, management, and risk prevention and control of the construction projects emerging along the routes. We will make efforts to create a clean and efficient modern business environment, promote international anti-corruption exchanges and cooperation, improve the anti-corruption law system, and continue to crack down on commercial bribery, etc. Thank you.

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