China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is no threat to global economic order or political thought but a significant vision that has generated enormous benefits for the world, said analysts at a symposium Friday in Beijing.
"China hopes to work with all parties to seek common development and share prosperity as the initiative proposed in 2013 aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road trade routes," said Ma Wensheng, deputy secretary-general of the Charhar Institute think tank.
It consists of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. Five years on, over 100 countries and international organizations have supported and become involved in this initiative.
To advance the initiative in a broader and more profound international context, the Communist Party of China has already incorporated the push for Belt and Road development into the Constitution, according to a resolution approved by the 19th CPC National Congress that set out the blueprint for China's future development in October.
The initiative has been proven to advance globalization and open trade while realizing more "golden fruits", including projects such as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the Chinese-built Mombasa-Nairobi Railway in Kenya, explained Ma.
CPEC is a comprehensive package of cooperative initiatives and projects in the sectors of transportation, energy, infrastructure, industry and agriculture, said Hina Firdous, press and culture attache at the Embassy of Pakistan. "The flagship project saw a new model of cooperation between China and Pakistan on regional connectivity."
As for other countries' concerns, "the African continent was part of the ancient maritime Silk Road and now is in a good position to be China's natural partner," said He Wenping, a leading female researcher on Africa's relations with China at the Chinese Academy of Social Science.
In South Africa alone, there are over 300 Chinese enterprises, half of whom are major and medium-sized businesses, investing $13 billion in electronics, automobiles, financial information network infrastructure and construction engineering, said a report compiled by the South Africa-China Economic and Trade Association in 2016.
Despite fears, frustrations and challenges from unexpected hardships, misunderstandings and cultural conflicts, China is accelerating the advancement of its all-around cooperation with Africa, she added. It is expected to set a good example of deepening regional cooperation for other Western countries.
"BRI deserves to be a platform for the overall exchange and intensified cooperation between China and the world," she urged.
The initiative needs to address the pain points of those parties sharing the benefits when it is publicized both at the official governmental and social levels, suggested Zhao Lei, a professor from the Institute for International Strategic Studies of the Central Party School of the CPC, during a group discussion at the meeting.
BRI could potentially help encourage the creation of more medium- and small-sized startups that generate more jobs and value added. The policy change support to those firms could be on its agenda, hoped Nikolay Marinov, president of the Chamber of Commerce "New Silk Road" from Bulgaria.
Organized by the Beijing-based media group China Radio International and supported by the Charhar Institute, the seminar is part of a series of productions covering current topics of interest in domestic and international affairs.personalized-silicone-wristbands