By Guo Jiping, People’s Daily
The Belt and Road Initiative put forward by China is a great action to build a community with a shared future for mankind, the People’s Daily said in a commentary under the byline of “Guo Jiping”.
In the article, the paper summarized the fruits yielded from the construction of the initiative, and looked into the bright prospect of the proposal.
The article was published on Thursday, five years after Chinese President Xi Jinping, on September 7 and October 3, 2013 respectively, put forward the proposal to co-construct the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
An abstract translation of the article is as follows:
In 2018 when the world casts its eyes on China’s achievements since it launched the reform and opening up policy four decades ago, it is more aware of the great importance of China’s proposal to co-build the Belt and Road.
The Belt and Road Initiative is not only an evident proof to China’s efforts in deepening reform and expanding opening up in the new era, but also a concrete action of China to strengthen international cooperation and improve global governance.
The initiative presents a satisfactory answer sheet since it was proposed five years ago. Opening to all the friends sharing the same aspiration, the initiative has earned increasing influence and attraction.
Over 130 countries and international organizations have signed agreements on Belt and Road cooperation with China, and the UN Security Council also called on the international society to intensify regional economic cooperation based on Belt and Road construction through the Resolution 2344 it passed.
In addition, a total of 279 outcomes of five major categories came out of the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation China hosted last May.
China’s liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment has been greatly optimized as a result of the co-construction of the Belt and Road over the five years.
China’s trade with Belt and Road countries has exceeded $5 trillion and outward direct investment has amounted to over $60 billion, creating over 200,000 local jobs. It made China’s outbound investment a key engine driving the global growth of outward direct investment.
A series of big projects have been launched in countries and regions along the route in the five years. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the China-Mongolia-Russia economic corridor, for instance, are under smooth construction.
The electrified rail project connecting landlocked Ethiopia to Djibouti, and the Mombasa-Nairobi standard gauge railway in Kenya have opened to traffic, while China-Laos Railway, China-Thailand high-speed railway, the Jakarta-Bandung rail line, as well as Belgrade-Budapest rail link have commenced construction.
The China-Belarus Industrial Park, Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ) in Cambodia, as well as the Suez Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone in Egypt have turned into models for industrial cooperation among on-route countries and regions.
The construction work of Hambantota Port in southern Sri Lanka, Gwadar Port in Pakistan, as well as the Port of Piraeus in Greece go well. What’s more, freight trains running between China and Europe have made over 10,000 trips to reach 43 cities in 15 European countries.
Win-win cooperation has provided the public with a sense of gain, as the opportunities brought by the Belt and Road Initiative have broadened the development space of the businesses, created more jobs for citizens, and extended the consumption capability of the citizens.
In today’s world where the tide of trade protectionism and anti-globalization rise, the Belt and Road construction is offering the global economy precious impetus with its openness.
Data from the World Bank showed that about 60 percent of the global economic output was contributed by the areas within 100 kilometers of the coast, while some countries, especially some landlocked ones, have constrained the globalization as they have been marginalized in the process.
It has been more and more realized that the Belt and Road Initiative is the right remedy to the imbalanced development of the whole world.
A well-recognized fact is that within the framework of Belt and Road cooperation, Asia, Africa, Latin America and some other developing regions are accelerating their pace in infrastructure construction to better share the development dividends of world economy.
Experts estimated that global economy can grow 5 percent because of the globalization mainly driven by tariff cut in the past, but rise 10 percent to 15 percent thanks to the new type of globalization mainly spurred by connectivity.
It is sad that someone affected by the expansion history of contemporary western world label the Belt and Road out of malicious intentions and cook up the so-called “China threats”.
“Misunderstanding, or even distortion will take place if explaining China with the pure Western mindset,” said Zheng Yongnian, professor at National University of Singapore.
As a matter of fact, there is no special requirements for the economic or political systems before joining the Belt and Road construction, which aims to maximize the development potential of all stakeholders.
More countries and regions are now taking the Belt and Road construction as a big opportunity and trend of times to brace for a better future.