Belt and Road helps build community with a shared future
Photo taken on Sept 11, 2021 shows the "Belt and Road" International Pavilion at the 18th China-ASEAN Expo in Nanning, capital of South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. [Photo/Xinhua]
That the Belt and Road Initiative would be a game changer was evident from the moment President Xi Jinping proposed it in 2013. The idea was to better connect Asia with Africa and Europe through land and maritime networks in order to stimulate trade and economic growth.
The results are there for all to see. China has signed more than 200 Belt and Road cooperation agreements with 140 countries and 32 international organizations, and third-party market cooperation deals with 14 countries including Japan and Italy. And the initiative's concepts and propositions on cooperation have been included in documents of major international organizations including the United Nations, G20, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
It is in the spirit of Belt and Road cooperation that President Xi, while addressing a seminar on Friday, vowed to push forward with the high-quality development of the initiative's projects. Which means they must be guided by high standards during construction, while efforts should be made to ensure that the projects are sustainable and can substantially improve people's livelihoods in the countries involved.
This will undoubtedly inject new vitality into the initiative, highlighting its importance in not only improving connectivity but also addressing major challenges facing the world including the novel coronavirus pandemic, climate change and global economic slowdown.
China has advanced a large number of cooperation projects, which have boosted economic development and improved people's lives in the Belt and Road countries, while making efforts to ensure the initiative promotes peace, openness, innovation and green development, and provides public goods.
The initiative has weathered many storms including the pandemic and divisive efforts of some countries because it is inclusive in nature and mutually beneficial in outcome. China's success in largely containing the pandemic, resuming economic activity and achieving positive economic growth has given a shot in the arm to the Belt and Road Initiative, enabling it to supply much-needed medical equipment and medicines, including the all-important COVID-19 vaccines, to other countries, especially developing ones.
So far, China has provided more than 1.7 billion doses of the vaccines for more than 110 countries and international organizations, while launching the Belt and Road Vaccine Partnership initiative with more than 30 countries.
With China now pursing higher-quality development, the initiative's projects will also focus more on green development, the digital economy, technological innovation and financial cooperation.
Many Belt and Road projects are already contributing to the UN Environment Programme's Medium-Term Strategy that looks, among other things, at resource efficiency, climate change, healthy and productive ecosystems and environmental governance, which tie into the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
This shows the initiative is helping translate the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind into reality.