Belt and Road requires blueprint for next stage

MA XUEJING/CHINA DAILY

According to the Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, which concluded on Thursday, China will promote high-quality joint construction through the Belt and Road Initiative during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period.

Since it was put forward seven years ago, the Belt and Road Initiative has won international consensus, with China signing 200 documents with 138 countries and regions and 30 international organizations for joint constructions.

The initiative and its core concepts have been written into the relevant documents adopted by the United Nations, G20, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and other regional organizations. The second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, convened in April 2019, brought together 38 heads of state and government and more than 6,000 foreign guests from over 150 countries and more than 90 international organizations, producing 283 constructive outcomes.

Over the past seven years, China's active cooperation in the construction of ports, railways, highways, airports, power plants, communications and other fields in the countries that inked the deal has helped improve the infrastructure there. It shortened transportation time, reduced trade costs, and released their trade and investment potential, providing new energy for building a community with a shared future for mankind.

Trade exchanges between China and these countries have increased, with the total import and export volume of goods rising from $1.04 trillion in 2013 to $1.34 trillion in 2019, and the cumulative volume exceeding $7.81 trillion. The proportion of trade between China and these countries as against China's total foreign trade has risen from 25 percent in 2013 to 29.4 percent in 2019. Two-way investment has also seen a steady rise.

The Belt and Road Initiative has thus become a road for mutual benefit and win-win cooperation between China and the world and for building a community with a shared future for mankind. China's investment in these countries has created new tax revenue and employment channels and promoted local economic development. By the end of 2019, China had invested $35 billion in these countries, paying more than $3 billion in taxes to host countries and creating 330,000 jobs. According to World Bank estimates, this kind of investment could lift 7.6 million people out of extreme poverty and 32 million out of moderate poverty.

So it is recommended that a special plan for the initiative be formulated and a special blueprint for key tasks and action programs drawn up to lay a more solid foundation for its greater success.

Editor: 王予
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