China urges more countries to join the Belt and Road Initiative

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) for International Cooperation in Beijing, capital of China, May 14, 2017. (Xinhua)

By Morris Dogga in Beijing

Chinese President Xi Jingping has urged more countries to join the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

President Xi who was briefing the media on Saturday on the outcomes of the Leaders’ Roundtable Summit of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) said China was ready to welcome any Country.

“All countries that are interested in the initiative are welcome to join us,” Xi said.

The BRI, proposed by China in 2013, is an initiative on the construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

It is aimed at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia, Europe and Africa and beyond along ancient trade routes.

Xi said after having an in-depth discussion with the 37 heads of States and headers of the international organizations who attended this year’s forum, they had reached extensive consensus on high-quality joint building of the BRI.

“We enriched the concept of Belt and Road cooperation and jointly reaffirmed our commitment to its high-quality development guided by the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. The parties have conducted consultations as equals, jointly shouldered responsibilities and enjoyed the benefits together,” he said.

They had enriched the concept of cooperation, identified cooperation priorities and enhanced cooperation mechanisms for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), he said.

The President further revealed that a total of 283 items of practical outcomes were achieved during the preparatory process adding that cooperation agreements worth more than 64 billion U.S. dollars were signed at a CEO conference during this year’s forum.

We all supported more results-oriented cooperation and more concrete outcomes. In the run-up to and during the course of this forum, the parties reached 283 items of practical outcomes, according to the president Xi.

“With concerted efforts, joint building of the Belt and Road has delivered early harvests that have provided new impetus for global economic growth and opened new space for global development and made new contributions to building a community with a shared future for mankind.” he added.

Xi noted all the parties were committed to supporting an open, clean, green development and rejecting protectionism and agree to act on the principles of high-standard, people-centred and sustainable development.

The common goal is to realize more effective connectivity between countries, promote stronger economic growth, closer international cooperation and deliver a better life to our peoples.

“We set clear priorities for Belt and Road cooperation and decided to strengthen all-round and multi-field cooperation. We will continue to promote land, sea, air and cyber connectivity, and develop high-quality, sustainable, resilient, affordable, inclusive and successful infrastructure,” Xi said.

The three-day forum, with the theme of “Belt and Road Co-operation, Shaping a Brighter Shared Future,” concluded Saturday in Beijing.


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