A senior Chinese official said yesterday that Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) aims to strengthen economic ties with countries in the continent thorough collaboration and the pursuit of shared interests.
Speaking during the first plenary session of the 2018 National People’s Congress (NPC), which is now being held in Beijing, Zhang Yesui, spokesperson for the Chinese government, said that the BRI is guided by the principles of mutual benefit and collaboration.
“All participants are equal partners in this process. It is an open and inclusive platform. It doesn’t exclude or target any countries and it is open to all those who are interested,” Mr Zhang said.
The BRI is a development strategy proposed in 2013 by China’s leader Xi Jinping. It focuses on connectivity and cooperation between Eurasian nations, with China at the centre of a massive trade network.
Mr Zhang said, “The Belt and Road Initiative is actually a proposal for economic cooperation. It focuses on activities and mutual gains. The hope is to come closer together to create more opportunities for global economic growth and to spread prosperity.”
“Five years ago, President Xi Jinping put forward the Belt and Road Initiative. Over the past five years, thanks to joint efforts from all parties, this initiative is being turned into action, transforming from a vision into a reality,” he said.
He pointed out that a lot of progress has already been made in bringing the project to life, particularly through the creation in 2014 of the Silk Road Fund, a state-owned investment fund to foster investment in countries along the BRI.
“All these concrete results are successful examples and fully demonstrate that the Belt and Road initiative fosters cooperation and development across the continent,” Mr Zhang said.
The National People’s Congress is the national legislature of the People’s Republic of China. With 2,924 members in 2017, it is the largest parliamentary body in the world.
During the first plenary session of the 2018 NPC major state positions will be elected.