Humanities

Why is the Belt and Road Initiative popular among countries outside the region?

Seetao 2021.09.16
  • The Belt and Road Initiative injects new impetus into the accelerated recovery of the global economy

2021 is the eighth anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative. Since the Belt and Road Initiative was put forward, the co-construction of the Belt and Road Initiative has always kept pace with the times, has continuously enriched its connotations, and has achieved remarkable results in international cooperation, demonstrating strong vitality and creativity. Liu Guoju, associate professor of Beijing University of Chemical Technology and researcher of the Belt and Road Research Institute of Tsinghua University, believed in an interview that the world is currently facing unprecedented changes. The world needs peace, cooperation, and a path of peaceful development.

Inject momentum into global economic development

What achievements have been made in the eight years since the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative? Liu Guoju said that since the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, it has moved towards a stage of grounded roots and lasting development through foundations, pillars and beams. Practitioners of the Belt and Road Initiative continue to adjust their thinking and change their concepts, actively respond to the impact and challenges of the new crown epidemic on global economic development, and actively promote the high-quality construction of the Belt and Road Initiative from their main businesses and characteristic industries, and have achieved fruitful results.

Despite the impact of the new crown epidemic, China's imports and exports to countries along the Belt and Road have maintained good growth. In the first half of 2021, China's imports and exports to countries along the Belt and Road were 5.35 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 27.5%, accounting for 29.6% of China's total foreign trade imports and exports; the influence and attractiveness of the construction of the Belt and Road are also increasing. As of August 23, 2021, 172 countries and international organizations have signed more than 200 cooperation documents on the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative with China.

What are the reasons for the increasing popularity of the Belt and Road Initiative in the past eight years? Liu Guoju said that in the eight years since the Belt and Road Initiative was put forward, it has not only been warmly welcomed by countries along the route and international organizations, but also received warm responses from countries outside the region. Especially in the context of the global spread of the new crown epidemic, the Belt and Road Initiative has become more popular. The main reasons are as follows:

First, under the impact of the new crown epidemic, the One Belt One Road project has injected a “cardiotonic agent” into stabilizing the global supply chain. Take the China-Europe Express as an example. As an important link connecting the Eurasian continent, it is an important logistics channel for countries and regions along the Belt and Road. It conveys "Chinese power" and spreads "Chinese wisdom" for the global war "epidemic", demonstrating a great power Take charge. According to data released by China National Railway Group Co., Ltd., since 2021, the opening of China-Europe freight trains has maintained a strong growth trend. As of the end of August, a total of 10,030 trains have been opened, and 964,000 TEUs of containers have been sent, which is two months ahead of 2020 to achieve annual operations. Break ten thousand columns. Currently, the China-Europe Express has laid out 73 operating routes, reaching more than 170 cities in 23 European countries, and transporting more than 50,000 kinds of goods, providing transportation support for the economic and social development of countries and regions along the Belt and Road.

Second, the Belt and Road Initiative has created a new platform for international cooperation for countries along the route to complement each other's advantages and open up development. The new crown epidemic has brought a huge impact to the world economy, making the global economy cold, and countries need to build new international cooperation to offset the adverse effects of economic development.

The third is that the Belt and Road Initiative adheres to the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, with enterprises as the main body, following the principles of marketization, improving the diversified investment and financing system, promoting cooperation in major projects in an orderly manner, and advancing infrastructure interconnection, which is conducive to improving the quality of foreign investment and cooperation. benefit.

In the context of the prevention and control of the new crown epidemic, how can we more effectively promote the high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative? Liu Guoju said that in the context of the prevention and control of the new crown epidemic, the key to promoting the high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative is to give full play to the role of border trade ports.

On the one hand, border trade ports play an extremely important role in "internal defense rebound and foreign input", which also puts border trade port cities under tremendous pressure on epidemic prevention and control. Border trade ports are China's gateway to opening up to the outside world. Only when they play a barrier role can they prevent cross-border epidemics from outside the country.

On the other hand, border trade cross-border ports are the hub connecting China with the world. Maintaining effective connections in the circulation chain of border trade cross-border ports is an important way for the high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative. Take the Manzhouli port as an example. In 2020, there will be a total of 3,079 China-Europe trains passing through the Manzhouli port, a year-on-year increase of 42.09%, transporting 266,800 standard containers, a year-on-year increase of 46.26%, and a value of 34.169 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 30.95%. All data set new records, helping countries accelerate the recovery of the world economy. Editor/Tian Zengpeng

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