Belt and Road Turns Five
Cooperation and growth characterize the first five years of the initiative
Five years ago, in the autumn of 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the building of the Silk Road Economic Belt during a visit to Kazakhstan and the 21stCentury Maritime Silk Road while in Indonesia, which have collectively become known as the Belt and Road Initiative.
The initiative serves as a solution for China to participate in global opening up and cooperation, improve global economic governance, promote common development and prosperity, and build a community with a shared future for mankind, Xi said at a symposium marking the fifth anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative in Beijing on August 27.
He called for efforts to uphold dialogue and consultation, joint contribution, shared benefits, win-win cooperation, exchange and mutual learning and to promote mutual political trust, economic integration, and people-to-people exchanges with Belt and Road countries in order to advance the initiative step by step to produce results.
As of July, more than 100 countries and international organizations had signed Belt and Road cooperation documents with China, extending the initiative’s scope from the Eurasian continent to Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the South Pacific.
China’s total trade with countries along the Belt and Road in the past five years exceeded $5 trillion, with annual average growth of 1.1 percent, according to Qian Keming, Vice Minister of Commerce.
“China has become the largest trading partner of 25 of these countries,” Qian said at a press conference held by the State Council Information Office in Beijing on August 27.
The next priority for jointly advancing the Belt and Road Initiative is to realize its high-quality development, Xi said at the symposium. He urged efforts to push for progress in Belt and Road projects, especially those delivering real