The Belt and Road Initiative has promoted the development of all countries
- In 2022, trade volume between China and its Belt and Road partners bucked the trend
- Five more countries have signed Belt and Road cooperation documents with China
The Belt and Road Initiative is historic and unprecedented, enabling China to go global and connect with the world in all aspects. The first phase of the Blue Line Light Rail in Lagos, Nigeria, built by a Chinese company, has been completed successfully. The completion of the project will greatly ease the local traffic pressure, facilitate people to travel, and boost economic development. The high-quality Belt and Road Initiative has become a new engine for the development of all countries and a real "development belt" for the benefit of the world and a "happiness road" for the benefit of mankind.
In 2022, high-quality Belt and Road cooperation made steady progress and achieved good results, bringing a bright spot to the world economy under the dark cloud. In the first 11 months of this year, trade between China and our Belt and Road partners rose by 20.4 percent, bucking the trend, and the number of China-Europe freight trains set a new record. The first high-speed railway in ASEAN was put into trial operation, Cambodia's first highway was officially opened to traffic, the China-Laos Railway was opened to traffic and the Budapa-Serbia Railway and the Croatian Sea bridge effectively improved local transportation. Despite the complex international situation, a large number of landmark Belt and Road projects have come into full bloom, demonstrating their resilience. In the past year, five more countries have signed cooperation documents with China on Belt and Road cooperation, and 150 countries and 32 international organizations have formed the Belt and Road family, marking a new height in international economic cooperation. Nasser Bouhiba, chairman of the Moroccan-China Association for Cooperation and Development in Africa, pointed out in his article that over the past nine years and more, China has been actively helping to build infrastructure, upgrade industries and improve people's livelihood. Today, Belt and Road cooperation has become a popular international public good and platform for international cooperation.
Wang Yiwei, director of the Institute of International Affairs at Renmin University of China, said the remarkable achievement of Belt and Road cooperation is by no means accidental, and is caused by multiple factors. First, globalization is at a historical crossroads. Against the backdrop of mounting risks in the world economy and rampant protectionism, China is opening wider to the outside world and deepening cooperation through concrete actions such as the Belt and Road cooperation. More and more countries see the major opportunities in this. Second, in the face of US unilateralism and disruption of the global industrial chain, the vast majority of developing countries in the world have become more conscious of strengthening solidarity and responding to changes through more active cooperation. Deepening the Belt and Road cooperation is an important part of this process. Third, more and more countries want to learn from the experience of Chinese modernization and take the initiative to strengthen practical cooperation with China such as the Belt and Road cooperation.
The year 2023 marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China. At this important juncture, the Belt and Road cooperation will embrace more development opportunities. Wang Yiwei believed that, on the one hand, China has formulated interim measures for personnel exchanges between China and foreign countries, which will make personnel exchanges between China and foreign countries more convenient, safe, orderly and efficient, which will bring great opportunities for economic and trade cooperation along the Belt and Road. In addition, China has a promising economic prospect, and the potential of its super-large market will be released at a faster pace, bringing more opportunities to countries along the Belt and Road. On the other hand, over the past three years, the epidemic has had a great impact on countries along the Belt and Road, especially those with relatively uncomplicated economic structures such as tourism, exports or foreign aid. Sri Lanka and Pakistan in particular need to boost their confidence in development and get out of the impact of the epidemic as soon as possible. We have great expectations for strengthening cooperation with China under the framework of the Belt and Road.
In the future, there are many bright spots for deepening economic and trade cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative. Zhang Jiadong, director of the Institute for Strategic and International Security Studies and director of the Center for South Asian Studies at the Belt and Road and Global Governance Institute of Fudan University, said that in the new stage of development, the Belt and Road cooperation will pay more attention to deeper cooperation, such as promoting financial integration and further enhancing the level of local settlement cooperation in economic and trade exchanges. Moreover, to promote the integration of production chains, China will take the initiative to carry out the layout and division of labor, rather than limited to the conventional international trade level.
With the 10th anniversary as a new starting point, I am confident that the Belt and Road, a development belt that benefits the world, will enjoy greater prosperity and a broader path of happiness for mankind. Editor/Xu Shengpeng
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