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FM: Belt and Road ‘belongs to world’

Zhang Yunbi
Updated: Mar 9,2017 7:11 AM     China Daily

More than 20 state leaders and government heads will travel to Beijing to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May, Foreign Minister Wang Yi confirmed on March 8.

The event will also welcome more than 50 heads of international organizations, over 100 minister-level delegates and more than 1,200 guests from around the world, Wang told a news conference on the sidelines of the ongoing two sessions.

The idea of the Belt and Road Initiative came from China but it belongs to the world with its benefits flowing to all countries, Wang said.

While the trends of protectionism and unilateralism are rising, the Belt and Road Initiative has become the common cause of the world and will help rebalance economic globalization by making it more universally beneficial and inclusive, he said.

The forum will build consensus and connect development strategies of various countries. It will also examine cooperation in key areas and finalize major projects in infrastructure connectivity, trade and investment, financial support and people-to-people exchanges, he said.

President Xi Jinping proposed the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013.

Zhang Yunling, a senior researcher on Asia-Pacific studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the forum “will nurture more consensus and catalyze cooperative programs”.

The Belt and Road Initiative geographically connects the Asian, European and African continents and covers an overwhelming majority of the world’s population, which means it has vast potential, Zhang said.

Wang also spoke on potential highlights of another diplomatic event this year-the Ninth BRICS Leaders’ Meeting in September.

The annual meeting will bring together leaders of the BRICS countries-Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa-in Xiamen, Fujian province.

Wang said the BRICS mechanism will “see a breakthrough in political and security cooperation” this year, as member nations will discuss and initiate the formal foreign ministers meeting of BRICS.

The five countries will strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination, boost links among their development strategies, hold cultural events and build a new platform for cooperation among developing countries, according to Wang.