Top priority should be given to policy coordination in promoting the five-ways of connectivity for implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative.
The five major goals of the Belt and Road Initiative are policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bonds.
Of the five-ways of connectivity, policy coordination serves as the foundation for carrying out pragmatic cooperation in various fields and as an important guarantee for jointly building the initiative.
The countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, given the differences in political systems, development modes and cultural traditions, need to strengthen exchanges and communication on policymaking. They should communicate with each other on economic development strategies and formulate through negotiation plans and measures for advancing regional cooperation and interconnected development.
During the past four years, China has stepped up its efforts of policy coordination with relevant countries and the initiative has received active response from over 100 countries and international organizations. So far, the initiative has been aligned with the development plans of countries and regions including Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, the European Union and Vietnam.
China has signed cooperation agreements under the Belt and Road Initiative with nearly 70 countries and has engaged in industrial capacity cooperation with more than 30 countries.
It is through policy coordination that China and relevant countries have enhanced mutual political trust and reached new cooperation consensus.
Efforts should be made in the following four aspects to further boost policy coordination with relevant countries:
First, China needs to strengthen the initiative's alignment with relevant countries' development strategies.
Second, the initiative should be aligned with development plans of relevant countries as well as regional development plans.
Third, efforts should be exerted to promote building of a multi-level intergovernmental macro policy exchange and communication mechanism, as well as multi-level cooperation platforms.
Last, China should enhance cooperation in key and major projects with Belt and Road countries and provide sound policy support for enterprises to carry out practical cooperation on various projects.
Enhancing policy coordination can resolve conflicts to the largest extent and contribute to consensus. In this way, China will successfully implement the initiative to promote common prosperity of participating countries.
(The author Ou Xiaoli is Counsel of the Department of Western Region Development at the National Development and Reform Commission. This is an excerpt from his article which was first published in Chinese. The translator is Li Yang. )