BEIJING, May 14: Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that during the period of just four years, over 100 countries and international organizations have supported and got involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.
“We should foster a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation and we should forge partnerships of dialogue with no confrontation and of friendship rather than alliance,” President Xi said while addressing the opening session of two day One Belt One Road Forum started here on Sunday.
In his speech, Xi also reviewed the history of the ancient trade routes. “The ancient silk routes embody the spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit,” he said.
The president said that process of policy connectivity, enhancing infrastructure connectivity, increasing trade connectivity and expanding financial connectivity got momentum during last four years. “Vision of the Belt and Road Initiative is becoming a reality and bearing rich fruit,” Xi said.
He laude that over 100 countries and international organizations have supported and got involved in the Belt and Road Initiative just in four years.
“China has signed cooperation agreements with over 40 countries and international organizations and carried out framework cooperation on production capacity with more than 30 countries,” he said.
Briefing about the financial resources for the forum, he said that The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has provided 1.7 billion US dollars of loans for nine projects in Belt and Road participating countries and the Silk Road Fund has also made four billion US dollars of investment.
“China will scale up financing support for the Belt and Road Initiative by contributing 100 billion yuan (14.5 billion US dollars) to the Silk Road Fund,” the President said. The China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China will set up special lending schemes respectively worth 250 billion yuan equivalent (36.2 billion US dollars) and 130 billion yuan equivalent (18.8 billion US dollars) to support cooperation on infrastructure, industry capacity and financing, he added.
“China will provide emergency food aid worth two billion yuan (290 million US dollars) to developing countries along the Belt and Road and make an additional contribution of one billion US dollars to the Assistance Fund for South-South Cooperation”, Xi said.
President Xi highlighted the key principles behind the building of the Belt and Road, and pledged to build it into a road of peace, prosperity, opening up and innovation and a road connecting different civilizations.
Adressing the the Forum Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) must not be politicized, adding that the corridor remains open to all countries.
He said that CPEC is at the core of China’s One Belt, One Road initiative, which has fostered inclusion and tolerance in the region.
“We are not striving to merely leverage geography for economic prosperity; we are also trying to build a peaceful, connected and caring neighbourhood,” Nawaz Sharif said.
The prime minister added that efforts must be made to resolve conflict and transcend differences.
Nawaz said that with the help of China, an environment had been created for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to take off and has started to create new entrpreneurs, jobs and businesses.
He added that it is compatible with the country’s vision for 2025, where investment is undertaken in different sectors such as energy, industry, trade and transport.
He also said that efforts were being made to bridge the gap between economic growth and social development through a focus on education, gender mainstreaming and health.
Leaders of the others OBOR countries and Secretary General of UN also addressed the forum.