Belt and Road Cooperation will Move Towards Higher Quality and the New Type of Globalization is an Unstoppable Trend
2020/11/30
 

 

 

Belt and Road Cooperation will Move Towards Higher Quality

 and the New Type of Globalization is an Unstoppable Trend

 

Speech by H.E. Mr. Xie Feng

Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China

in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

at the Opening Ceremony of the Belt and Road Summit 2020

 

30 November 2020, Hong Kong

 

 

 

Your Excellency Mr. President Joko Widodo,

The Honorable Chief Executive Carrie Lam,

Vice Chairman Ning Jizhe,

Vice Minister Wang Bingnan,

Vice Chairman Ren Hongbin,

Chairman Dr. Peter Lam,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Good morning. It is a great pleasure to see President Joko Widodo again. It reminds me of the flourishing China-Indonesia relationship under the leadership of President Xi Jinping and Your Excellency, and also the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway, a flagship project of our Belt and Road cooperation. Please accept my best wishes for you personally, for the prosperity of Indonesia, and for the greater success of the comprehensive strategic partnership between our two countries.

 

On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China and the Office of the Commissioner of the Foreign Ministry in the HKSAR, I'd like to extend warm congratulations on the opening of the fifth Belt and Road Summit.

 

We are meeting at an unusual moment. On the one hand, Covid-19 has plunged the global economy into recession, protectionism and unilateralism are mounting, and inequality and imbalance in global distribution and development are becoming more acute, all of which have posed unprecedented challenges to economic globalization. On the other hand, as the first major economy to effectively contain the coronavirus and register positive growth under the firm leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, China is entering a new stage of building a modern socialist country in all respects, and is fostering a new development paradigm at a faster pace with domestic circulation as the mainstay and domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other. So how will the Belt and Road Initiative move forward, and where is economic globalization heading? My answer is that the Belt and Road Initiative and globalization will advance in tandem and complement each other, with high-quality Belt and Road cooperation making the new type of globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all.

 

High-quality Belt and Road cooperation will address the key problem of unbalanced development, and fix the uneven center-periphery structure of traditional globalization. The initiative attaches priority to developing infrastructure in regions left behind in traditional globalization, promoting industrial cooperation, increasing effective supply, and generating new demands. In this way, it will maximize the potentials of developing and transitioning countries, put all nations in the driver's seat and transform them into the powerhouse of globalization. Over the past seven years, China has launched more than 2,000 projects with Belt and Road partner countries, with Chinese direct investment topping 130 billion US dollars and trade in goods exceeding 8.8 trillion US dollars. During the first three quarters of 2020, non-financial direct investment from Chinese companies in the partner countries surged 29.7 percent year on year. Forging ahead against all the odds, the Belt and Road Initiative has kindled hope for the global economic recovery.

 

 High-quality Belt and Road cooperation will promote healthy and sustainable development of globalization. While traditional globalization caused the hollowing out of the real economy, the Belt and Road Initiative has made a breakthrough with its focus on connectivity, helped to remove the development bottlenecks facing the participating countries, and unleashed their internal driving forces by building quality, sustainable, resilient, affordable, inclusive and accessible infrastructure. Driven by innovation and green cooperation, China and the partner countries have dovetailed with generally acceptable international rules, sought coordinated development in economy, society and the environment, and worked closely in 5G, big data, AI, block chain, the Internet of Things, cloud computing, quantum computing and other frontier technologies. Efforts have also been made to foster green infrastructure and green value chains, and to participate in global environmental governance. The "Digital Silk Road" featuring cross-border e-commerce, smart city, telemedicine and Internet finance keeps gaining momentum.

 

High-quality Belt and Road cooperation will put people first, and enable people of different countries and of various social groups to share in the dividends of globalization. Incorporating the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the Belt and Road Initiative rejects the zero-sum mentality and the winner-takes-all law of the jungle, and advocates instead globalization that benefits all. It builds roads and bridges and provides power and heat for local communities, raises people's incomes by creating numerous job opportunities, improves their living standards by investing in education, health, medicare and other areas concerning public welfare, and helps participating countries build capacity and cultivate a more skilled workforce through education and training. As the world's largest supplier of anti-epidemic materials, China has provided over 280 batches of emergency medical supplies and daily necessities to more than 150 countries and international organizations, including Belt and Road partner countries, via China-Europe freight trains and other channels of connectivity, building a lifeline for and deepening the ties among people worldwide in the joint battle against Covid-19.

 

High-quality Belt and Road cooperation will champion a new vision of global governance featuring openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, and will uphold multilateralism. Guided by the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, the initiative calls for seeking common ground while shelving differences and pursuing win-win cooperation. Matters involving all should be discussed and solved together. It does not intend to form a small circle to keep others out, draw ideological lines, resort to the zero-sum mentality, impose business deals on others, or pass judgment on other countries' internal affairs. Participating countries, regardless of their size, wealth and strength, are all equals. Together, they are committed to joining hands instead of letting go of each other's hands, coupling instead of decoupling, tearing down instead of erecting barriers, enhancing trade and investment integration, and forging an open world economy amid the headwinds against globalization. The signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership by the ten ASEAN nations, China, Japan, the ROK, Australia and New Zealand earlier this month is the latest evidence that differences in the stage of development, system and values are not necessarily obstacles to win-win cooperation. Ultimately, free trade and multilateralism represent the trend of the times, and consensus building and win-win cooperation are the will of the people.

 

China's new development paradigm will open up vast horizons for high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, and inject fresh impetus into the new type of globalization. We will ensure smooth flow of domestic economic activities from production to distribution to circulation to consumption, expand domestic demand as a strategic priority, focus on supply-side structural reforms, fully tap the potential of our mega market, and create more demands and dividends for the partner countries. Total import into China is estimated to top 22 trillion US dollars in the coming decade, and service imports to reach 2.5 trillion US dollars in the next five years. By promoting both the domestic and international circulations, opening up with a broader scope, in more fields and at a higher level, advancing trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and continuing to foster a market-oriented, rules-based and international business environment, China will give a strong boost to high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, bring out the inherent development momentum of the partner countries, and encourage them to smooth out their own domestic and international circulations. It will also contribute to the security and stability of global industrial, supply and value chains, forge a more open, inclusive and vibrant global economic system that benefits all, and ensure that countries will together share in the opportunities as the new type of globalization deepens.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China and the Commissioner's Office are committed to supporting Hong Kong in expanding exchanges and cooperation with the rest of the world and serving as a super connector in the Belt and Road Initiative. Since the Commissioner's Office initiated the "mainland plus Hong Kong plus Belt and Road partner countries" tripartite cooperation mechanism in 2017, we have facilitated visits by HKSAR officials and industrial representatives to countries along the Belt and Road; co-hosted tripartite meetings and matchmaking events with the Hong Kong business community, foreign consulates and chambers of commerce in Hong Kong, and the Chinese embassies and consulates in the partner countries; encouraged Hong Kong businesses to join the economic and trade cooperation zones along the Belt and Road; arranged for visits by heads of foreign consular corps, chambers of commerce, businesses and media in Hong Kong to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area to explore investment opportunities; and supported the HKSAR in leveraging its expertise in rail and aviation services and urban governance to participate in capacity-building and training programs for the partner countries.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

On recent multilateral occasions including the BRICS Summit, the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting and the G20 Leaders Summit, President Xi Jinping has called for putting people's life and health first, fighting Covid-19 with solidarity and cooperation, pursuing open, innovation-driven, inclusive and green development, reinvigorating the world economy, and improving global economic governance based on extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. President Xi has shared China's proposal for prevailing over the current crisis and reshaping the post-Covid world, presented the opportunities China has to offer, and demonstrated China's sense of responsibility.

 

An important lesson we can draw from the millennia-old Silk Road is that openness brings progress, while self-seclusion leaves one behind. Conflicts and confrontation are not the fate of mankind; instead, win-win cooperation is the eternal aspiration. The Belt and Road will lead to a new type of globalization, and to a better future for people around the world. Facing the intertwined challenges of Covid-19 and profound changes unseen in a century, China is ready to work with the rest of the international community, find a way forward through cooperation, and break new ground amid changes. Let's jointly promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, embrace and advance the new type of globalization, and forge a community with a shared future for mankind.

 

Thank you.

 

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