Full text of Liu’s speech

China Daily (USA) - - TOP NEWS -

Liu Qibao, the head of the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee’s Pub­lic­ity Depart­ment, de­liv­ered a key­note speech at the open­ing cer­e­mony of the In­ter­na­tional Sem­i­nar on the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, un­der the theme of “Shared Mem­ory, Com­mon Devel­op­ment”, which opened in Xi’an, Shaanxi province on Sept 26.

Your Ex­cel­len­cies Paroubek and Kolodko, Dis­tin­guished guests, Friends, Ladies and gentle­men,

In this golden au­tumn, it is a great plea­sure to meet friends from afar here in the an­cient city Xi’an. Let me be­gin by ex­press­ing sin­cere grat­i­tude to our guests at the sem­i­nar and our warm wel­come to friends who have trav­eled all the way to China.

In the au­tumn of 2013, Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping pro­posed the col­lab­o­ra­tive build­ing of the Silk Road Eco­nomic Belt and the 21st Cen­tury Maritime Silk Road when he vis­ited Cen­tral Asia and South­east Asia. This has been met with strong re­sponse from the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity and par­tic­u­larly from the coun­tries along the Belt and Road. It has also trig­gered en­thu­si­asm and in­ter­est among many coun­tries to ex­plore and par­tic­i­pate in the ini­tia­tive. In or­der to help peo­ple bet­ter un­der­stand the ini­tia­tive and en­gage in the build­ing of the Belt and Road, the State Coun­cil In­for­ma­tion Of­fice held in­ter­na­tional sem­i­nars on the Silk Road Eco­nomic Belt in Urumqi, North­west China’s Xin­jiang Uygur Au­ton­o­mous Re­gion, in 2014, and on the 21st-Cen­tury Maritime Silk Road in Quanzhou, south­east China’s Fu­jian Province, in 2015. This year, we put the two top­ics into one sem­i­nar, hop­ing to pro­vide a wider plat­form for ex­change and dis­cus­sion. Here to­day, tomy great plea­sure, I have the chance to meet many old friends and also get to know many new ones.

The theme of this sem­i­nar— Shared Mem­ory, Com­mon Devel­op­ment— em­bod­ies our ef­forts in trea­sur­ing his­tor­i­cal legacy, our best wishes to the com­mon prosperity of coun­tries along the routes, and ac­knowl­edge­ment of our re­spon­si­bil­ity to world peace and devel­op­ment. More than 300 guests from 35 coun­tries are gath­ered here to­day. It is a great event for dis­cussing the grand projects of the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive. I be­lieve, through in-depth dis­cus­sion and ex­change of wis­dom from all par­tic­i­pants from var­i­ous fields, we shall be able to reach a broad con­sen­sus and achieve a pros­per­ous out­come. Ladies and gentle­men, Friends, Au­tumn is a sea­son of har­vest. We are happy to see that since the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive was pro­posed three years ago, the coun­tries along the routes have car­ried out in­creas­ing co­op­er­a­tion in pol­icy com­mu­ni­ca­tion, fa­cil­ity, trade and as­set con­nec­tiv­ity, and peo­ple-to-peo­ple ex­changes. As a re­sult, early har­vest has been fruit­ful. A grow­ing num­ber of coun­tries and in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions have par­tic­i­pated in the build­ing of the Belt and Road. China has signed co­op­er­a­tive agree­ments with more than 30 coun­tries and launched man­u­fac­tur­ing and pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity co­op­er­a­tion with more than 20 coun­tries along the routes. The fi­nan­cial co­op­er­a­tion rep­re­sented by the Asian In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Bank and the Silk Road Fund is mak­ing steady head­way. A num­ber of land­mark projects are be­ing im­ple­mented. Peo­ple-to-peo­ple in­ter­ac­tions in the fields of cul­ture, ed­u­ca­tion, sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy, tourism and com­merce are in­creas­ing. We should note that the out­comes in terms of speed and scale of the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive have been bet­ter than ex­pected. Now, we have a clearer vi­sion on the prospects of this ini­tia­tive and are more con­fi­dent in ac­com­plish­ing it.

First, we see broad­ened con­sen­sus on the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive. There is al­ways a process for one to un­der­stand a new con­cept. With the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, China hopes to share devel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties with coun­tries along the routes and sup­port the com­mon prosperity of these coun­tries. Cur­rently, the Belt and Road has mostly com­pleted the plan­ning stage and is tak­ing steps of con­crete im­ple­men­ta­tion and sus­tain­able devel­op­ment. There is a wider con­sen­sus of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity that the ini­tia­tive an­swers the call of our times for peace and devel­op­ment and con­forms to the as­pi­ra­tion of rel­e­vant coun­tries to speed up devel­op­ment. It will help to ad­vance eco­nomic growth along the routes and boost global eco­nomic prosperity, help­ing to main­tain re­gional sta­bil­ity and world peace. This has be­come the im­pe­tus for all par­ties to join in.

Sec­ond, we have be­come more ap­pre­cia­tive of the Silk Road spirit. The an­cient Silk Road cov­ered thou­sands of miles and ex­isted for cen­turies, leav­ing be­hind vivid mem­o­ries of how peo­ple along the routes stood to­gether through thick and thin. These mem­o­ries sym­bol­ize the Silk Road spirit of peace­ful co­op­er­a­tion, open­ness and in­clu­siv­ity, mu­tual learn­ing and mu­tual ben­e­fit. In the past three years, en­light­ened by this spirit, peo­ple have joined hands, given ex­pres­sion to their cre­ative­ness and en­thu­si­asm, pro­mot­ing con­nec­tiv­ity and re­cip­ro­cal col­lab­o­ra­tion. The Silk Road spirit has helped to guide the build­ing of the Belt and Road and en­cour­aged co­he­sion among all par­ties in­volved. To fur­ther push for­ward the Belt and Road project, we need to stick to and carry on the Silk Road legacy.

Third, it is in­creas­ingly vis­i­ble that the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive serves the in­ter­ests of all par­ties. As the pro­poser and pro­moter of the ini­tia­tive, China in­sists on a more bal­anced ap­proach to up­hold­ing prin­ci­ples and pur­su­ing in­ter­ests and calls for a co­op­er­a­tive prin­ci­ple of equal­ity and mu­tual ben­e­fit. Through joint ef­forts, the project is well on the way to mak­ing re­mark­able achieve­ments and de­liv­er­ing tan­gi­ble ben­e­fits to the peo­ple along the routes. Facts show that the Belt and Road ini­tia­tive is open, prag­matic, and mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial. It helps to find com­mon in­ter­est be­tween China and coun­tries along the routes, while ad­dress­ing their spe­cific needs. It bears the com­mon as­pi­ra­tions of peo­ple in the re­gion to live pros­per­ously and com­bines the Chi­nese dream with the dreams of those along the routes. All rel­e­vant coun­tries need to con­tinue their col­lab­o­ra­tion of devel­op­ment strate­gies, seek the com­mon de­nom­i­na­tor in co­op­er­a­tion, and find the point of con­ver­gence for all par­ties. We should make the cake of com­mon in­ter­ests big­ger and bring well-be­ing to all along the Belt and Road.

Fourth, we see greater prospects for win-win co­op­er­a­tion. Build­ing the Belt and Road brings all the coun­tries in­volved into one big fam­ily with shared in­ter­ests and a shared fu­ture. The ini­tia­tive’s pos­i­tive ef­fects are be­com­ing clearer and the ben­e­fits of col­lab­o­ra­tion along the routes more ev­i­dent, pre­sent­ing a pic­ture of heart­en­ing prosperity based on joint ef­fort and shared in­ter­ests. Ex­pe­ri­ence tells that al­though the coun­tries along the routes have dif­fer­ent na­tional sit­u­a­tions and devel­op­ment stages, and thus are faced with dif­fer­ent chal­lenges, they have a com­mon as­pi­ra­tion for eco­nomic growth, a com­mon in­ter­est in cop­ing with risks and chal­lenges, and the same vi­sion for com­mon devel­op­ment. If we stick to mu­tual ben­e­fit and co­op­er­a­tion, ex­pand scope and raise the lev­els of co­op­er­a­tion and seize the op­por­tu­ni­ties pre­sented, we can re­al­ize the goal of ben­e­fit­ing all par­ties con­cerned. Ladies and Gentle­men, Friends, The an­cient Silk Road is a great trea­sure of his­tory, and the Belt and Road ini­tia­tive is a Chi­nese so­lu­tion of ori­en­tal wis­dom de­signed to pur­sue com­mon prosperity and devel­op­ment. Al­though China is the pro­po­nent and pro­moter, the Belt and Road devel­op­ment is a com­mon cause for all par­ties. Build­ing the Belt and Road is to es­tab­lish a co­op­er­a­tion net­work of mu­tual ben­e­fit rather than cre­at­ing any sphere of in­flu­ence. We en­cour­age all flow­ers to bloom to­gether, rather than do­ing a solo show; we ad­vo­cate com­mon devel­op­ment, not a zero-sum game. The Belt and Road are wide and open av­enues, not pri­vate ex­clu­sive roads. China wel­comes coun­tries along the routes to ac­tively par­tic­i­pate and in­vites friends from the rest of the world to join this great project with open arms.

The Belt and Road devel­op­ment has seen a good be­gin­ning, with en­cour­ag­ing progress along both the land road and maritime route. We should ride the tide and be more united to push fur­ther devel­op­ment. Bear­ing the Silk Road spirit in mind, we need to con­sol­i­date com­mon un­der­stand­ing, bet­ter co­or­di­nate devel­op­ment strate­gies and find new op­por­tu­ni­ties, so as to pro­vide more growth mo­men­tum, to speed up the march to­ward new goals, and con­trib­ute to build­ing the Belt and Road that are green, healthy, in­tel­li­gent and peace­ful. Win-win co­op­er­a­tion is our com­mon goal, while mak­ing it come true re­quires our joint ef­fort. To this end, I’d like to share with you my views and sug­ges­tions on the mat­ter.

First, we need to stick to the prin­ci­ple of mu­tual re­spect and trust, and re­in­force the foun­da­tion for win-win co­op­er­a­tion. Mu­tual re­spect is the ba­sis of mu­tual un­der­stand­ing, and mu­tual un­der­stand­ing is the premise of mu­tual trust. In con­duct­ing ex­changes among ei­ther friends or be­tween coun­tries, we should re­spect and trust each other. The world is di­verse with coun­tries dif­fer­ing from one an­other in terms of size, strength and devel­op­ment level. We should give full re­spect to the right of all coun­tries to choose their own so­cial sys­tems and devel­op­ment paths, and to their ex­plo­ration and prac­tice in ad­vanc­ing eco­nomic growth and so­cial devel­op­ment in or­der to im­prove the lives of their peo­ple. The coun­tries along the routes need to sup­port each other on is­sues of sig­nif­i­cant and core in­ter­est, and seek com­mon ground while putting dif­fer­ences aside. More un­der­stand­ing, more trust, unity and col­lab­o­ra­tion, sin­cer­ity and friend­li­ness are needed in the Belt and Road devel­op­ment. We should carry out co­op­er­a­tion on a vol­un­tary ba­sis and on the prin­ci­ple of equal­ity and mu­tual ben­e­fit.

Sec­ond, we need to be open and in­clu­sive and seize the op­por­tu­ni­ties for win-win co­op­er­a­tion. Open­ness and in­clu­sive­ness are the char­ac­ter­is­tics of the an­cient Silk Road and the ex­pe­ri­ence of coun­tries along the routes in pur­su­ing devel­op­ment and prosperity, which is nec­es­sary to achieve greater suc­cess in the fu­ture. Through ac­tive con­sul­ta­tions, par­tic­i­pa­tion, and shar­ing out­comes, we can pool wis­dom to­gether and ob­tain ben­e­fi­cial re­sults for all, which will pro­vide an open and in­clu­sive plat­form for all the coun­tries in­volved and help to form a com­mu­nity of com­mon fu­ture. China’s achieve­ment is in­sep­a­ra­ble from the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity, and it’s will­ing to make its con­tri­bu­tion to global devel­op­ment.

At the re­cently con­cluded G20Hangzhou Sum­mit, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping said that China is at the start­ing point in adapt­ing to a new nor­mal eco­nomic devel­op­ment and ad­justed growth model, which is also a new start­ing point to in­ter­act with the world and open up wider and deeper to the world. China is con­fi­dent and ca­pa­ble of main­tain­ing medium-high eco­nomic growth and re­al­iz­ing its own devel­op­ment while pro­vid­ing more op­por­tu­ni­ties to the world. Fur­ther devel­op­ment of the Belt and Road will form wider, deeper and higher-level re­gional co­op­er­a­tion and forge a frame­work for open, in­clu­sive and bal­anced co­op­er­a­tion ben­e­fit­ing all par­ties. Coun­tries along the routes should jointly drive the train of devel­op­ment and head for an even brighter fu­ture.

Third, we need to be prag­matic and in­no­va­tive and stim­u­late the im­pe­tus for win-win co­op­er­a­tion. The foun­da­tion of the Belt and Road con­struc­tion lies in in­ter­con­nec­tiv­ity, and the driv­ing force comes from down-to-earth work and in­no­va­tion. Against the back­drop of risks and chal­lenges fac­ing the world, co­op­er­a­tion in in­no­va­tion is the key to boost­ing global eco­nomic re­cov­ery and an­swers the need of our time for cop­ing with these is­sues and achiev­ing sus­tain­able devel­op­ment. The coun­tries along the routes have dif­fer­ent ad­van­tages in nat­u­ral re­sources and hu­man cap­i­tal, pro­vid­ing huge po­ten­tial for in­no­va­tive and prag­matic co­op­er­a­tion.

In the be­gin­ning of this year, China re­leased its 13th Five-Year Plan from 2016 to 2020 for its eco­nomic and so­cial devel­op­ment, which high­lights the five prin­ci­ples of devel­op­ment -- in­no­va­tion, co­or­di­na­tion, green devel­op­ment, open­ing up and shar­ing, to ful­fill its goals. An in­no­va­tion-driven devel­op­ment strat­egy will be im­ple­mented and more growth mo­men­tums are ex­pected to be un­leashed. So long as we take the his­toric op­por­tu­nity of the new round of tech­no­log­i­cal and in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion, es­tab­lish a net­work for mu­tual ben­e­fit, work out new modes of co­op­er­a­tion and cre­ate a mul­ti­ple co­op­er­a­tion plat­form, we will be able to give full play to the po­ten­tial and ad­van­tages of re­lated par­ties and turn the com­ple­men­tar­ity in all economies into a booster of dy­namic growth, prac­ti­cal in­no­va­tion and mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial co­op­er­a­tion through joint ef­forts.

Fourth, we need to stick to peace and devel­op­ment and safe­guard the path to­ward win-win co­op­er­a­tion. The evo­lu­tion of the an­cient Silk Road proves that there’s no devel­op­ment with­out peace and no prosperity with­out se­cu­rity. Sol­i­dar­ity and har­mo­nious co­ex­is­tence is the gene of the Chi­nese na­tion and is also the essence of the Eastern civ­i­liza­tion. China per­sists in peace­ful devel­op­ment, which is not a pol­icy of ex­pe­di­ence but a strate­gic choice. It is a solemn com­mit­ment to the world. China ad­heres to an in­de­pen­dent and peace­ful for­eign pol­icy and a more bal­anced ap­proach to up­hold­ing prin­ci­ples and pur­su­ing in­ter­ests and seeks the peace­ful set­tle­ment of dis­putes through diplo­matic mea­sures. The Chi­nese peo­ple are will­ing, to­gether with peo­ple along the routes, to main­tain a con­science of the hu­mankind and safe­guard in­ter­na­tional jus­tice, so as to make the Belt and Road a route of sun­shine and peace. Ladies and gentle­men, Friends, To­day, we gather to­gether here in Xi’an, a birth­place of the Chi­nese civ­i­liza­tion and also the start­ing point of the an­cient Silk Road. Look­ing back into his­tory, we can see in our minds’ eye pic­tures of en­voys and mer­chants of dif­fer­ent coun­tries bustling in the streets of this an­cient cap­i­tal and scenes of friendly in­ter­ac­tions be­tween the Chi­nese and peo­ple of other coun­tries along the trade route. Dur­ing this sem­i­nar, the or­ga­niz­ers will in­vite our guests to visit the Tang West Mar­ket, where money coins and goods from an­cient Greece, Byzan­tine, Western Ro­man Em­pire and an­cient In­dia are ex­hib­ited, dis­play­ing the prosperity of the largest mar­ket in the world more than 1,000 years ago. The an­cient Silk Road con­nect­ing Asia and Europe was an im­por­tant bridge for friendly con­tacts and civ­i­liza­tion ex­changes be­tween the East and the West. The flow­ers of an­cient civ­i­liza­tions have blos­somed in the course of mu­tual learn­ing and have be­come the col­lec­tive mem­ory of coun­tries along the routes, which have been an in­ex­haustible source of en­ergy for the dy­namic devel­op­ment of the Silk Road.

To­day, the build­ing of the Belt and Road aims to re­al­ize the con­nec­tiv­ity of roads, as well as peo­ple’s hearts. In the past three years, China and the coun­tries in­volved have jointly held a va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties, such as cul­ture year, tourism year, ex­pos, art fes­ti­vals, book fairs, movie and TV prod­uct ex­hi­bi­tions. They have also launched writ­ing ex­change pro­grams, invit­ing writ­ers from China and other coun­tries along the routes to ex­change their works, and fa­cil­i­tated di­a­logues be­tween think tanks and the me­dia, in the hope of es­tab­lish­ing long-term and sta­ble co­op­er­a­tion and bet­ter con­vey­ing the ideas and in­for­ma­tion of win-win co­op­er­a­tion. The rel­e­vant coun­tries have also car­ried out ac­tive co­op­er­a­tion in cul­ture and in pro­grams of public good. The joint ap­pli­ca­tion be­tween China, Kyr­gyzs­tan and Kaza­khstan to in­scribe the por­tion of the Silk Road that passed through these coun­tries to the World Her­itage List was suc­cess­ful. The joint ar­chae­o­log­i­cal project be­tween China and Uzbek­istan also achieved a re­mark­able out­come. The Study­ing in China pro­gram has been launched and the Silk Road Ed­u­ca­tion Fund has been set up. China and the rel­e­vant coun­tries have also strength­ened co­op­er­a­tion in tal­ent train­ing and in ed­u­ca­tion, which has been an im­por­tant pro­moter of Belt and Road devel­op­ment. Prac­tice shows that en­hanced peo­pleto-peo­ple con­nec­tion and mu­tual-learn­ing among dif­fer­ent civ­i­liza­tions will draw­peo­ple along the routes much closer to­gether and fur­ther pro­mote friend­ship be­tween coun­tries, and will pro­vide pos­i­tive en­ergy to the joint ef­forts for build­ing the Belt and Road.

Di­ver­sity adds to the splen­dor of civ­i­liza­tions, and ex­changes among them will fa­cil­i­tate their ad­vance­ment. We should at­tach same im­por­tance to both eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion and peo­ple-to-peo­ple ex­change when push­ing for­ward the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive. The di­ver­sity and peace­ful co­ex­is­tence of civ­i­liza­tions should be main­tained through mu­tual learn­ing, com­mon devel­op­ment and co­op­er­a­tion with shared fruits. In strength­en­ing cul­tural co­op­er­a­tion, we need to en­cour­age ex­change, sup­port equal­ity, pro­tect her­itage and value in­no­va­tion. China will ex­pand co­op­er­a­tion with other coun­tries in all fields in­clud­ing ed­u­ca­tion, cul­ture, jour­nal­ism, sport, tourism and ar­chae­ol­ogy, in or­der to pro­mote friendly in­ter­ac­tion among peo­ples along the routes, and boost mu­tual un­der­stand­ing. With the joint ef­fort of all par­ties, the foun­da­tion of con­nec­tiv­ity be­tween roads and peo­ple’s hearts will be con­sol­i­dated. It will help peo­ple from dif­fer­ent con­ti­nents with dif­fer­ent cul­tures and be­liefs to join forces in build­ing the Belt and Road. Dur­ing this process, we will bring forth a sit­u­a­tion where peo­ple of all coun­tries along the route get to know each other bet­ter, foster friend­ship be­come more ap­pre­cia­tive and re­spect­ful of one an­other. Ladies and gentle­men, Friends, The Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive con­nects his­tory with the fu­ture; China with the world. The devel­op­ment of the Belt and Road needs sin­cer­ity and res­o­lu­tion, and the vi­sion of all par­ties as well. The rel­e­vant coun­tries not only need to bet­ter co­or­di­nate their devel­op­ment strate­gies, plans, projects and ac­tions, but also need to strengthen co­op­er­a­tion in brain­storm­ing and me­dia ex­change. This sem­i­nar gath­ers politi­cians, think tank mem­bers, me­dia lead­ers and en­trepreneurs to­gether. It in­cludes one main fo­rum and three top­i­cal dis­cus­sions. It is go­ing to be an oc­ca­sion for wis­doms, opin­ions and ac­tions get con­nected. I hope that all guests at the sem­i­nar will fully par­tic­i­pate in the ex­changes and di­a­logues, ex­pand mu­tual un­der­stand­ing and con­sen­sus, and pro­vide more thoughts and so­lu­tions to the Belt and Road devel­op­ment, turn­ing our vi­sion into re­al­ity.

Fi­nally, I wish this sem­i­nar a com­plete suc­cess.


Liu Qibao de­liv­ers a speech on the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive in Xi’an on Sept 26.

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