2021 marks 8th anniversary of BRI Xi urges steady efforts to promote high-quality BRI development

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Observer Report
Beijing

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for efforts to continue promoting the high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) through joint efforts.

The BRI should aim for high-standard, sustainable and people-centered progress, said Xi while addressing a high-level symposium on the initiative. The year 2021 marks the eighth year since the announcement of the BRI Initiative.

Xi said the initiative has produced a mutual benefit for the countries involved. Through the joint construction of the BRI, the level of opening-up is lifted, the areas of opening-up are expanded, and institutional opening-up is promoted, the Chinese president pointed out.
China’s “circle of friends” under the BRI is expanding, according to Xi.

He also hailed that the BRI explored a new way to promote common development. Xi voiced it is necessary to correctly understand and grasp the new situation facing the joint con-struction of the BRI.

The theme of our times, peace and development, has not changed, and the trend toward economic globalization has not changed, he pointed out, add-ing that the co-construction of the BRI is facing im-portant opportunities.

The world is witnessing unprecedented major changes with the unprecedented fierce competi-tion brought by a new round of sci-tech and in-dustrial revolutions and the unprecedented im-pact on human society brought by the global issues including climate change and pandemic control and prevention, Xi said.

Noting the international environment for building the BRI is becoming increasingly com-plex, Xi urged the country to maintain strategic determination, seize strategic opportunities, actively respond to challenges and move for-ward.

Xi also stressed the need to solidify the foun-dation for development, calling for promoting political consensus into concrete action, and transforming idea recognition into practical re-sults.

He voiced the necessity of further promoting policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unim-peded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bonds.

Xi also suggested expanding new areas of co-operation, such as pandemic control, low-carbon development, and e-commerce. He called for enhancing international coop-eration in combating the pandemic and pledged to continuously provide assistance to the Belt and Road countries within China’s capabilities.

The Chinese president also said the country will help developing countries obtain green and low-carbon energy, promote information sharing and capacity building for green and low-carbon development and deepen cooperation on eco-logical environment and climate governance.

He stressed that China should further its digi-tal cooperation with the Belt and Road countries, promote Silk Road e-commerce and build a digi-tal cooperation pattern.

“We should carry out the ‘Belt and Road’ Sci-ence, Technology and Innovation Cooperation Action Plan, strengthen international coopera-tion on intellectual property protection and cre-ate an open, fair, just and non-discriminatory environment for scientific and technological de-velopment,” Xi added.

As the country is fostering the new develop-ment paradigm of “dual circulation,” Xi said the construction of the new development paradigm and the joint construction of the BRI must be considered overall.

Building projects to improve people’s liveli-hood is an important way to quickly enhance the sense of gain for people in the Belt and Road countries, Xi pointed out and called for more grounding cooperation achievements.

The Chinese president called for to compre-hensively strengthening risk prevention and control, highlighting the importance of respond-ing to COVID-19 and advancing the joint building of the BRI.

He urged efforts to protect the lives and men-tal health of overseas personnel, fulfill their de-mands, as well as ensuring the supply of materi-als and financial support for employees.

“We should educate and guide our enterprises and citizens abroad to consciously abide by local laws and respect local customs and traditions,” Xi added. He also stressed the necessity of perfecting anti-corruption laws and regulations concerning foreign affairs and stepping up the fight against cross-border corruption.

Enterprises of all kinds should standardize their business practices and never allow damage to the country’s reputation, Xi stressed and vowed to deal with violations of disciplines and laws seriously.

Vice Premier Han Zheng, also head of the leading group on advancing BRI development, presided over the meeting.

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