BELT & ROAD INITIATIVE
Plan on Belt and Road Initiative
China unveiled on March 28 the principles, framework, and cooperation priorities and mechanisms in its Belt and Road Initiative in a bid to enhance regional connectivity and embrace a brighter future together.
The vision and actions on jointly building the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, an initiative raised by President Xi Jinping during visits to Central Asia and Southeast Asia in 2013, was issued by China’s top economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission and ministries of foreign affairs and commerce.
The initiative aims to promote orderly and free flow of economic factors, highly efficient allocation of resources and deep integration of markets by enhancing connectivity of Asian, European and African continents and their adjacent seas.
It is open to all countries and international and regional organizations for engagement and honors mutual respect and market operation to seek common prosperity, the plan said.
“The programs of development will be open and inclusive, not exclusive. They will be a real chorus comprising all countries along the routes, not a solo for China itself,” President Xi Jinping said on March 28 while addressing the opening ceremony of the 2015 annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) in the coastal town of China’s southernmost island province of Hainan.
The Initiative represents real work that could be seen and felt to bring real benefits to countries in the region, Xi added.
The plan called for policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bonds to make complementary use of participating countries’ unique resource advantages through multilateral mechanisms and multilevel platforms.
China will fully leverage the comparative advantages of its various regions and further open up for more interaction and cooperation both at home and internationally.
The development of the Belt and Road Initiative is a pluralistic and open process of cooperation which can be highly flexible without sticking to conformity, according to the plan.
China is ready to work with participating countries in improving the content and mode of the initiative and developing timetables and roadmaps of cooperative mechanisms, plans and projects, the plan added.
The action plan came three days ahead of the deadline of the application for joining the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a China-initiated lender to offer financing for regional infrastructure projects.
Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said at the Boao forum on March 28 that Russia decided to join the AIIB. Up to now 39 countries both from the developed and developing regions have applied to be prospective founding members of the AIIB.
Xi said China welcomes all countries along the routes and in Asia, as well as our friends and partners around the world to take an active part in these endeavors.
In promoting this initiative, China will follow the principle of wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, Xi said.
Belt and Road Basics
The Belt and Road Initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, a significant development strategy launched by the Chinese government with the intention of promoting economic co-operation among countries along the proposed Belt and Road routes.