Xi Jinping unveils 8-point plan for global prosperity at Belt and Road Forum

Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses the belt and road forum in Beijing. (Photo/Reuters)

The Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) opened with a powerful keynote speech by President Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China.

The speech laid out the vision for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) on its 10th anniversary and emphasized the importance of international cooperation for mutual benefit. The event was graced by the presence of numerous world leaders, including the presidents of Russia, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Argentina, and the head of the United Nations. Here are the key highlights from President Xi's speech:

A Decade of Achievements: President Xi began by acknowledging the 10th anniversary of the BRI. He emphasized that over the past decade, the BRI has successfully created a global network of connectivity. This network encompasses land, ocean, air, and digital channels, transforming the way goods, capital, technology, and people move between BRI partner countries. He noted how international trade, infrastructure development, and e-commerce have become hallmarks of the new era, as significant as camel caravans and sailing ships were in the past.

The Role of BRI During the Pandemic: President Xi highlighted the vital role played by the BRI during the COVID-19 pandemic. China provided substantial assistance to other countries, sharing more than 10 billion masks and 2.3 billion vaccine doses. This support has helped BRI partners in their efforts to combat the pandemic. Furthermore, when China faced challenges due to the pandemic, it received support from over 70 countries.

Unity and Cooperation: President Xi emphasized that the BRI is based on principles of cooperation, openness, inclusivity, and mutual benefit. He reiterated that ideological confrontation, geopolitical rivalry, and bloc politics are not the path to success. Rather, the BRI embodies the Silk Road spirit of peace, cooperation, mutual learning, and mutual benefit. It transcends differences between civilizations, cultures, and social systems.

Support for Joint Pursuit of High-Quality Belt and Road Cooperation: President Xi announced eight major steps to support the joint pursuit of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation:

  • Building a multidimensional Belt and Road connectivity network, including the establishment of new logistics corridors and international transportation routes.
  • Supporting an open world economy, with a focus on cross-border e-commerce, free trade agreements, and investment protection treaties.
  • Carrying out practical cooperation through signature projects and livelihood assistance programs.
  • Promoting green development, emphasizing green infrastructure, energy, and transportation.
  • Advancing scientific and technological innovation, with a particular focus on artificial intelligence (AI).
  • Supporting people-to-people exchanges through cultural initiatives, tourism alliances, and scholarship programs.
  • Promoting integrity-based Belt and Road cooperation by establishing evaluation systems and principles.
  • Strengthening institutional building for international Belt and Road cooperation through multilateral platforms and a secretariat for the BRF.

A Shared Future for Mankind: President Xi concluded his speech by emphasizing that the BRI represents humanity's joint pursuit of development for all. He reiterated that the BRI is the right path forward, fostering global modernization and enhancing peaceful development. He expressed China's commitment to building an open, inclusive, and interconnected world for common development, thereby creating a community with a shared future for mankind.

As the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation unfolds, it is clear that the BRI continues to be a significant global initiative, promoting cooperation and development for the benefit of all. With the commitment of numerous countries and international organizations, the BRI is poised to shape the future of international connectivity and prosperity.

The two-day forum, which began on 17th, brings together over 4000 officials from 140 countries and international organizations. Over 3000 journalists are covering this year's forum, including over 1200 international media persons.