SCIO press conference on white paper 'A Global Community of Shared Future: China's Proposals and Actions'

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The Straits Times:

A question from The Straits Times. So, China's Belt and Road Initiative has been previously accused of causing ecological damage and outsourcing pollution. So, as the BRI enters the next decade, how do you plan to address these concerns while prioritizing green development? 

Cong Liang:

Thank you for your question. Since the BRI was proposed 10 years ago, our principle of extensive consultation and joint contribution for shared benefits has gained broader support. We have achieved significant progress in policy, infrastructure, trade, financial, and people-to-people connectivity and have seen more cooperation in new fields. The BRI has become a popular global public good and cooperation platform provided by China to the world.

Following President Xi Jinping's important instructions of "pursuing a way of life and work that is green, low-carbon, circular, and sustainable," we have put green development first while advancing BRI cooperation. In terms of a policy system, we have formulated policies concerning green BRI cooperation, eco-environmental protection, and energy cooperation, and no more new coal power projects have been allowed to be built overseas. In terms of partnerships, we have launched the Initiative  for Belt and Road Partnership on Green Development and implemented the Green Silk Road Envoys Program and other cooperation plans. As for practical cooperation, Chinese enterprises have invested in a large number of clean energy projects, such as the Zhanatas wind power project in Kazakhstan, and set up wildlife passages and other facilities during the construction of the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway in Kenya. Such efforts have played an important role in promoting harmony between humanity and nature in BRI countries.

BRI projects are carried out in accordance with the principle of extensive consultation and joint contribution for shared benefits. Whether they are committed to green development, I believe that those BRI countries have a clearer understanding, and the local people are the best judges. Facts are always more persuasive than words. Faced with tangible construction achievements, the noise from attempts to slander and smear the Green Silk Road is not worth addressing, and schemes to tarnish and disrupt BRI projects under the guise of environmental protection will not succeed. We will continue to promote the construction of the Green Silk Road with all participating countries, better protect the environment, advance development, and benefit the people. We will focus on three aspects: First, we will comprehensively strengthen the foundation for green development cooperation, promote greater alignment between the Green Silk Road and the U.N. 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, and ensure the effective implementation of major cooperation projects. Second, we will expand the space for cooperation in green development, enhance platforms like the BRI International Green Development Coalition, and collaborate on green development in key areas such as infrastructure, energy, transportation, finance, science and technology, standards, and climate change. Third, we will continually enhance the capacity for green development, maintaining the promotion of a comprehensive green transformation of economic and social development as a long-term policy. We will increase support for BRI green development and help participating countries continuously build internal momentum for green development. Thank you.

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