Countries under the China-led Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) are expected to bring this cooperation to new heights as the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation will take place here in April.

Guo Weimin, spokesperson of the second session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said the political advisory body will continue to support the BRI of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“The CPPCC has attested to great importance to BRI,” Guo said in a press conference here Saturday at the Great Hall of the People.

He added that the BRI has gained positive response from various parties and also attracted the support of many countries.

He mentioned that more than 100 countries and international organisations have joined the BRI as of end-2018.

“Many major projects have been carried out, promoting economic growth of those countries. The BRI has been welcomed by more partners and widely recognised by the international community,” said Guo.

“We pursue consultations and cooperation for shared benefits. This initiative is creating greater support from more state leaders and ordinary people of our partner countries,” he added.

Guo denied that China targets regional hegemony through the BRI.

“I believe BRI has nothing to do with the so-called regional hegemony. With the development of BRI, China is making more friends,” said Guo.

“The ancient Silk Road started 2,000 years ago promoted business and culture ties between East and West. Likewise, the BRI today is giving a strong boost to exchanges between civilisations,” he noted.

The Philippines has been supporting the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road initiative of China, which aims to promote connectivity among Asian, European, African, and Middle East countries through trade, investments, and cultural exchange.

Showing its support to this initiative, President Rodrigo R. Duterte attended the first BRI forum in May 2017. He is also expected to join the second BRI forum next month.

The Philippines also founded its local Silk Road chamber, led by the private sector, affiliated with Silk Road Chamber of International Commerce (SRCIC).

SRCIC was launched in Hong Kong in 2015.