（The Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF), which was held in Beijing on 25-27 April 2019, will serve as a new starting point for joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative.）
During the forum, leaders of countries and heads of international organizations conducted in-depth discussions under the theme of “Belt and Road Cooperation: Shaping a Brighter Shared Future”, improved the concept for cooperation, identified cooperation priorities, bolstered cooperation mechanisms and mapped out a new blueprint for joint construction of the BRI.
Yanqi Lake International Convention Center, venue of the leaders’ roundtable meetings of the 1st and 2nd BRFs, has witnessed the expanding of the “circle of friends” of the BRI.
At the leaders’ roundtable meeting during the first BRF in May 2017, Chinese President Xi Jinping and leaders of 29 countries and heads of the United Nations, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund gathered together to discuss how to promote international cooperation and realize win-win development.
This year’s roundtable meeting was attended by 40 leaders of countries and international organizations, and saw the signing of a joint communiqué which contains more than 6,000 words and a list of deliverables with over 9,000 words.
Some 283 concrete results were achieved before and after the second BRF, and cooperation projects worth over $64 billion were signed at the Belt and Road CEO Conference.
These remarkable figures have eloquently demonstrated that the joint construction of the BRI, a massive and great endeavor as it is, accords with the trend of the times, conforms to people’s aspirations, serves people’s livelihood, and benefits the whole world.
With unwavering faith in the initial aspirations for the joint construction of the BRI, international cooperation under the framework of the BRI has embarked on a new journey starting from Yanqi Lake.
“Here from Yanqi Lake, let us spread our wings, soar to the sky, and reach out together for a future of peace, development and win-win cooperation!” President Xi addressed the leaders’ roundtable meeting at the first BRF.
Today, as world leaders seek further concrete steps and stronger synergy for the joint construction of the BRI with the aim of delivering greater benefits to people around the world, President Xi made the proposal to work with all parties to improve the cooperation concept for high-quality development of Belt and Road cooperation, identify cooperation priorities and strengthen all-round connectivity, and bolster cooperation mechanisms and foster partnerships on connectivity.
By declaring publicly the three expectations of the joint efforts at the construction of the BRI, Xi has envisaged a bright future for the BRI, where the BRI will fly with stronger wings, facilitate steady and extensive cooperation, inject new impetus into the world’s economic growth, and open up new space for global development.
The success of the 2nd BRF manifested China’s sense of responsibility to build on the sound momentum generated to steer the BRI construction toward greater success through meticulous implementation.
In the keynote speech delivered at the opening ceremony of the 2nd BRF, President Xi announced that China will expand market access for foreign investment in more areas, intensify efforts to enhance international cooperation in intellectual property protection, increase the import of goods and services on an even larger scale, more effectively engage in international macro-economic policy coordination, and work harder to ensure the implementation of opening-up related policies.
President Xi laid high importance on the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, the pursuance of open, green and clean cooperation, as well as high standard cooperation that improves people’s lives and promotes sustainable development.
These proposals have all been incorporated into the joint communiqué released at the leaders’ roundtable meeting of the 2nd BRF and have become a consensus of the international community.
China is universally recognized for the systematic and forward-looking guidance it has offered on the construction of the Belt and Road, as well as the persistent practice and long-term efforts it has made.
The success of the 2nd BRF demonstrated China’s commitment to the spirit of partnership and win-win cooperation when the world is amid profound changes unseen in a century.
The rising unilateralism and protectionism today are posing a challenge for multilateralism, and imbalanced development still remains tricky for the world. The joint construction of the BRI conforms to the historic trend of economic globalization, the call of the times to reform the global governance system, and people’s strong aspirations for a better life.
Each party reiterated in the joint communiqué that “strengthening multilateralism remains essential in addressing global challenges,” “an open, inclusive, interconnected, sustainable and people-centered world economy can contribute to prosperity for all,” and that they are “determined to pursue trade and investment liberalization and facilitation”. Such consensus has sent the world a clear signal to pursue win-win cooperation and common prosperity.
“Facing the myriad challenges of today, we can draw wisdom from the history of the Silk Road, find strength in win-win cooperation in the present day and build partnerships across the globe to jointly usher in a brighter future where development is shared by all,” President Xi remarked while giving a toast during a welcome banquet on April 26 in Beijing for guests participating in the 2nd BRF.
The 2nd BRF will serve as a new staring point from which the joint construction of the BRI will create more benefits for the people around the world and make greater contribution to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
(Zhong Sheng, a homonym in Chinese for “voice of China”, is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy)
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