Author: Wang Lei
Posted on: CGTN | May 14th, 2017
China will contribute an additional 100 billion yuan (about 14.5 billion US dollars) in financial support for the Belt and Road Initiative, said Chinese President Xi Jinping, who also stressed the country «will not resort to outdated geopolitical maneuvering» in pursuing the initiative.
President Xi made the remarks while delivering a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on Sunday.
The two-day forum, attended by more than 1,500 delegates from over 130 nations, including 29 foreign heads of state and government leaders, is by far the most important meeting on the Belt and Road Initiative since the Chinese President first raised the concept in 2013.
President Xi said China will scale up financial support for the Initiative by contributing a further 14.5 billion US dollars to the Silk Road Fund, in addition to the 40 billion US dollars pledged by the Chinese president when announcing the establishment of the fund in late 2014.
Backed by China’s foreign exchange reserves, the China Investment Corp., the Export-Import Bank of China and China Development Bank, the fund plays an active role in providing investment and financial support for infrastructure, resources, industrial cooperation, financial cooperation and connectivity-boosting projects along the Belt and Road.
Xi added that China will encourage financial institutions to conduct overseas RMB fund business with an estimated amount of about 300 billion yuan (about 43.5 billion US dollars).
The China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China will set up special lending schemes respectively worth 250 billion yuan (about 36.2 billion US dollars) equivalent and 130 billion yuan (about 18.8 billion US dollars) equivalent to support the initiative, he said.
To launch more projects, the world’s second largest economy has also pledged to provide assistance worth 60 billion yuan (about 8.7 billion US dollars) to developing countries and international organizations participating in the initiative in the next three years.
‘No intention to export China’s development model’
«We are ready to share practices of development with other countries, but we have no intention to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs, export our own social system and model of development, or impose our will on others,» Xi said.
He added that China hopes to achieve «a new model of win-win cooperation» and create «a big family of harmonious co-existence.»
«In pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative, we will not resort to outdated geopolitical maneuvering,» he emphasized.
Xi said China’s cooperation with countries involved in the initiative is based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence, referring to the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence.
Proposed by China in the 1950s, the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence have been the cornerstone of the Chinese diplomacy over the past six decades.
Good news for win-win partnership
China will sign business and trade cooperation agreements with over 30 countries and enter into consultation on free trade agreements with related countries during the forum, said Xi.
As part of efforts to enhance cooperation on innovation, China will offer 2,500 short-term research visits to the country for young foreign scientists, train 5,000 foreign scientists, engineers and managers and set up 50 joint laboratories in the next five years.
After the forum, China will establish a number of mechanisms to boost Belt and Road cooperation, such as a Liaison Office for the Forum’s follow-up activities, a Research Center for the Belt and Road Financial and Economic Development, a Facilitating Center for Building the Belt and Road, a Multilateral Development Financial Cooperation Center and an IMF-China Capacity Building Center, the Chinese president announced.
Five ‘connectivities’ and five ‘roads’
Xi also highlighted the achievements of the initiative’s implementation and laid out China’s proposals for its future endeavor.
Since the Belt and Road Initiative was raised in 2013, over 100 countries and international organizations have supported and got involved in it, and the UN General Assembly and Security Council have passed resolutions containing reference to the Initiative, he said.
«Thanks to our efforts, the vision of the Belt and Road Initiative is becoming a reality and bearing rich fruit,» he told the audience.
The past four years have seen deepened policy connectivity, enhanced infrastructure connectivity, increased trade connectivity, expanded financial connectivity and strengthened people-to-people connectivity, Xi underscored.
On the initiative’s future development, he called on all parties involved to build the Belt and Road into a road for peace, a road of prosperity, a road of opening up, a road of innovation and a road connecting different civilizations.
World leaders salute China’s Initiative
In a speech at the opening ceremony, Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country salutes the large scale initiative proposed by China, stressing that it could help Russia seize development opportunities in the region.
Russia is willing to cooperate with China in various sectors, he added.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the Initiative connects Europe, Asia, Africa and even America to one another.
Located at the crossroad of Asia and Europe, Turkey is an important country along the Belt and Road trade routes, and the country is willing to work with China under the Initiative, Erdogan said.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for a wide-ranging action to promote win-win cooperation and connectivity, urging countries across the globe to bring the spirit of the trade routes to a new height to benefit all.
The world has made remarkable progress in human development, but risks still challenge the planet, including inequality, poverty and climate change, he said.
‘No one will be left behind’
Broadcast live on social media platforms, the opening ceremony attracted worldwide attention, with many people hailing China’s contributions to global peace and prosperity.
«It’s good to bring the world toward peace and economic stability,» Pakistani Facebook user Sajid Hassan commented, calling China «a great country of the world.»
Amit Sankar from Guyana praised China’s «great job» in proposing «a great initiative,» while Nepalese netizen Bharat Bista called the Belt and Road Initiative «one of the best plan [sic]» in the 21st century.
Some netizens expressed their appreciation of the inclusive globalization and win-win cooperation championed by China.
No one will be left behind under the Belt and Road Initiative, Cambodian Facebook user Vannak Chhun wrote.
Chris Y. Chen, a Chinese student in Canada, said all people should cooperate for prosperity in the world.