Working Together for a Belt and Road Symphony

Remarks by Commissioner Xie Feng at "Sichuan-HK-Macao Cooperation Week in Hong Kong": Sichuan Promotion Conference on InternationalCooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative

The Honorable Vice Chairperson CY Leung,

Your Excellency Governor Yin Li,

Your Excellency Deputy Director Qiu Hong,

The Honorable Acting Financial Secretary James Lau,

Representatives of the Consular Corps,

Representatives of Business Chambers,

Friends from the Press, Business Leaders,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning.

Since my arrival in Hong Kong in June this year, I have attended a number of promotional events of the mainland provinces. Yet today's promotion conference is not only based on Sichuan-HK cooperation, but also oriented towards the countries along the Belt and Road. This is thus a pioneering event, fully demonstrating the far-sightedness and vision of the Sichuan provincial leaders. On behalf of the Commissioner's Office of the Foreign Ministry in Hong Kong, I wish to extend a warm welcome to the delegation led by Governor Yin Li, and heartfelt thanks to Vice Chairperson Leung and HKSAR Government for the firm support to the cooperation between mainland and Hong Kong for the Belt and Road development.

The Belt and Road is a major strategic measure by China to open itself wider to the world. It is the most important public good provided by China for the world. This initiative echoes the strong aspiration of the countries for development and cooperation, and may benefit over four billion people along the route. It has received active response and participation from over 100 countries and internationalorganizations. Since its inception four years ago, China has invested over 60 billion US dollars in the countries along the Belt and Road. Chinese businesses set up 56 cooperation zones in over 20 countries, generating nearly 1.1 billion US dollars of tax revenue and 180 thousand job opportunities. Major landmark projects, including the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail in Indonesia, China-Laos railway and Serbia-Hungary railway are making steady progress, adding great vitality to the local economic and social growth. The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing in May this year produced over 270 concrete outcomes. According to McKinsey&Company, by 2050 the Belt and Road countries are expected to contribute over 80% to the world economicgrowth. For the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and countries across the world, this is a precious historic opportunity that must be seized.

Hong Kong has its unique advantages in the Belt and Road development. It has the strength from both the "one country" and the "two systems". It is geographically well-located to connect the mainland and the rest of the world, and emerged as the early mover in opening up for cooperation. The city is renowned for its professional services that are up to international standards and cultural uniqueness where the East and West meet. President Xi Jinping made it very clear during his recent inspection tour of the city that the Central Government will as always support HK in leveraging the advantages and playing its role in major development strategies such as the Belt and Road. When serving as the Chief Executive, Vice Chairperson CY Leung made active efforts to turn HK into a super-connector in the Belt and Road. Chief Executive Carrie Lam stated on differentoccasions that the SAR Government will take on the unique roles of "facilitator" and "promoter" and Hong Kong will participate further in the Belt and Road.

Sichuan Province, an inland province of China, is well-known for its rich natural endowment, profound cultural heritage and well-talented people. Over 2000 years ago, Sichuan opened the southern Silk Road connected all the way to India. The province has produced numerous leaders with global vision and pioneering courage, with Mr. Deng Xiaoping, the chief architect of China's reform and opening up program, being one brilliant example. Today, Sichuan, as the leading area in China's western development and the main player in the new round of opening up, is stepping towards an even higher objective. From Sichuan-HK cooperation to "Belt and Road InternationalCooperation", the CPC Sichuan ProvincialCommittee and Provincial Government are implementing to the full extent President Xi Jinping's instructions on Sichuan's future development and on supporting HK's participation in the Belt and Road. This has demonstrated the vision and determination of Sichuan to promote openness andcooperation at an even higher level, and has drawn a fine blueprint of Sichuan and Hong Kong businesses working together to take part in the Belt and Road.

This promotion conference is being held at the summer vacation season. Yet it has received active participation of over 30 consuls general or consulate representatives, over a dozen foreign chamber of commerce representatives and over 30 Chinese and foreign media. We are gathering together to discuss the new trilateral cooperation model of "Sichuan plus Hong Kong plus X", a reflection of the Belt and Road principle of "wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits" and a demonstration of the confidence of all parties to Sichuan's development potential, of our hopes for deeper cooperation between Sichuan and Hong Kong and expectations for the bright prospects of Belt and Road development. We hope and we believe that a synergy will be formed, with one plus one plus one having a greater effect than three. A Belt and Road symphony will play well in Hong Kong and new prospects for win-win cooperation will be created.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

To serve national development is the basic mission of China's diplomacy. One important task of the Commissioner's Office of the Foreign Ministry in Hong Kong is to use diplomatic resources to facilitate Hong Kong's efforts to open itself wider to the world, enhance mutually-beneficialcooperation and participate in the Belt and Road. We are also committed to creating opportunities for the mainland provinces to work with Hong Kong to "go global" and make interactions with the world. The Commissioner's Office is pleased to jointly hold today's event on Belt and Road international cooperation with Sichuan Province. We hope that this can be taken as an opportunity to work together with more mainland provinces, Hong Kong SAR Government, consular corps, business chambers and media in Hong Kong, to make good use of the unique information channels and rich human resource connections with the help of over 260 overseas diplomatic missions of China. Together we can build up a new platform of Belt and Road internationalcooperation and share cooperationopportunities and foster new highlights for win-win outcome.

Finally, I wish today's event a complete success. I wish the Sichuan-HK cooperation and Belt and Road international cooperation even more concrete results.

Thank you.

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