Executive Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Ma Zhaoxu’s?Joint Interview with Xinhua News Agency and China Media Group on Belt and Road Cooperation
On October 13, Executive Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Ma Zhaoxu gave a joint interview with Xinhua News Agency and China Media Group on Belt and Road cooperation. He introduced the preparatory work for the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, the achievements made under the Belt and Road Initiative in the past decade and the initiative’s contribution to global economic development.
Question: The Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) is about to open. Could you brief us on the preparations of the Forum? What are the highlights and expected deliverables?
Answer: The Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation is the most important diplomatic event hosted by China this year, and the most significant celebration for the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). President Xi Jinping will attend the opening ceremony of the BRF and deliver a keynote speech, and host a welcoming banquet and bilateral events for the guests.
The theme of this year’s BRF is “High-quality Belt and Road Cooperation: Together for Common Development and Prosperity”. Apart from the opening ceremony, three high-level forums will be held simultaneously for in-depth discussions on connectivity, green development and the digital economy, and six thematic forums will be conducted in parallel under the topics of trade connectivity, people-to-people bonds, think tank exchanges, clean silk road, subnational cooperation, and maritime cooperation. A CEO Conference will also be held during the BRF.
A Chair’s Statement will be issued at the BRF to capture the consensus reached by participants and lay out the future direction and key areas of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. A List of Multilateral Cooperation Deliverables and a List of Practical Projects will also be released to present the outcomes reached under the framework of the three high-level forums and six thematic forums. During the CEO Conference, Chinese and foreign businesses will negotiate and sign a series of cooperation projects.
So far, representatives of over 140 countries and 30-plus international organizations, including state leaders, heads of international organizations, ministerial officials and representatives of the business sector, academia and nongovernmental organizations, have confirmed their attendance. As of today, more than 4,000 delegates have registered for participation.
The BRF is expected to produce substantial outcomes, both in the forms of cooperation documents, initiatives and mechanisms, and in terms of projects, funds and measures. The total number of deliverables is likely to exceed those of the previous two forums.
The participants all come to the BRF for cooperation, for supporting the BRI, and for promoting common development. In this world of change and volatility, the BRF will showcase how the BRI, a Chinese initiative with international support, has delivered benefits to all, and present the new progress China has made in advancing major-country diplomacy on all fronts since the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. It will send a message of solidarity and win-win cooperation of countries around the globe, and add positive energy and stability to the world.
China looks forward to working with all parties to use the opportunity of the Forum to take stock of the valuable experience of Belt and Road cooperation in the past decade, draw a new blueprint for high-quality Belt and Road cooperation in the new stage, inject new dynamism into realizing the aspiration for the common development of all countries, and make new contribution to building a community with a shared future for mankind.
Question: Since President Xi Jinping put forward the BRI 10 years ago, the initiative has produced far-reaching global impact, and become a popular international public good and cooperation platform. In your view, what role has Belt and Road cooperation played in promoting global growth, common development and global economic governance?
Answer: The BRI is a major proposal for international cooperation put forth by President Xi Jinping, informed by his keen grasp of the global trends and with a better future for humanity in mind. It is an important platform for concrete actions to build a community with a shared future for mankind.
The BRI has injected strong impetus into global growth. The past decade witnessed tangible and fruitful outcomes achieved under the BRI. More than 3,000 cooperation projects were agreed on and up to one trillion dollars of investment was mobilized. The China-Europe Railway Express is running smoothly. The New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor is growing. The Silk Road in the air is expanding in capacity and speed. All these have significantly boosted connectivity among Belt and Road partner countries and facilitated cooperation in such areas as trade and investment.
The BRI has brought valuable opportunities for the common development of all participating countries. Belt and Road cooperation has helped partner countries get on China’s express train of development, supported their efforts to eradicate poverty, increase employment, improve livelihood, and implement the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Chinese companies have created over 420,000 job opportunities for the local people in the economic and trade cooperation zones they built in partner countries. A series of well-tailored livelihood programs, including Luban Workshops for vocational training, “Brightness Action” for cataract patient treatment, Juncao technology for mushroom farming, hybrid rice growing and the use of artemisinin, have been successfully delivered, producing wide-ranging, positive economic and social impacts.
The BRI has offered viable solutions for improving global governance. Belt and Road cooperation follows a global governance philosophy of extensive consultation and joint contribution for shared benefit, and an approach that advocates dialogue over confrontation, bringing down over erecting barriers, integration over decoupling, and inclusiveness over keeping others out, and seeks to make global governance more just and equitable.
The BRI has made important contribution to China’s economic development. Belt and Road cooperation has opened China’s door wider, further integrated the Chinese economy into the world economy, and provided strong underpinning for China’s effort to foster a new development paradigm.
The BRI is an open and inclusive initiative. We will continue to pursue equality and friendly consultation, and work actively to synergize the BRI with the development strategies of other countries.
Question: The past decade has laid a solid foundation for Belt and Road cooperation. How will this Forum take such cooperation forward?
Answer: Over the past decade, Belt and Road cooperation has produced fruitful outcomes that benefit all its partners and hundreds of millions of people. We see the third BRF as a new starting point for us to work with all parties to build consensus, summarize experience, plan the future, and make new, tangible progress in Belt and Road cooperation.
We will adhere to the sound principle of extensive consultation and joint contribution for shared benefit, stay committed to the philosophy of open, green and clean cooperation, and make the cooperation high-standard, sustainable and people-centered. Together with our partners, we will advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation on a broader scale, at greater depths and on higher levels, to make continued advances toward the goal of common development and prosperity.