By Qiang Wei, People’s Daily
China’s State Council Information Office on Oct. 10 issued a white paper titled “The Belt and Road Initiative: A Key Pillar of the Global Community of Shared Future.”
The white paper will give the international community a better understanding of the value of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), facilitate high-quality cooperation under it, and ultimately deliver benefits to more countries and peoples.
The white paper says to promote greater connectivity through BRI cooperation, China has continued to facilitate policy coordination, infrastructure connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration, and closer people-to-people ties, by orienting towards “hard connectivity” in infrastructure, bolstering “soft connectivity” through harmonized rules and standards, and strengthening people-to-people bonds.
As its scope expands, the BRI has become the world’s largest platform for international cooperation, with the broadest coverage.
Over the past decade, BRI cooperation has witnessed remarkable results. It has opened up new space for world economic growth, built a new platform for international trade and investment, reinforced the development capacity of relevant countries and improved people’s lives, sought ways to improve the global governance system, and brought greater certainty and stability to a world fraught with turbulence and change. The initiative has contributed to addressing global development imbalance and advancing modernization in all countries.
The BRI has brought tangible benefits to participating countries. A large number of infrastructure projects have been built, with significant progress for participating countries in the construction of railways, highways, pipelines, shipping, energy, communications and other basic public service facilities. This has improved local living and working conditions and the development environment, and boosted these countries’ capacity for independent economic development.
The World Bank has estimated that by 2030, BRI-related investments could lift 7.6 million out of extreme poverty and 32 million out of moderate poverty.
The BRI has added vitality to economic globalization. World Bank study – “Belt and Road Economics: Opportunities and Risks of Transport Corridors” – noted that transport infrastructure projects under the BRI would reduce trade costs for the world by 1.8 percent, and reduce trade costs along the China-Central Asia-West Asia economic corridor by 10 percent. This has greatly facilitated global trade and boosted economic growth. The study projects that trade growth would range between 2.8 and 9.7 percent for corridor economies and between 1.7 and 6.2 percent worldwide, and global real income is expected to increase by 0.7 to 2.9 percent.
The BRI has provided new solutions for improving global governance. According to the China’s National Image Global Survey released by the Academy of Contemporary China and World Studies in 2020, the BRI is the Chinese proposal with the highest level of acceptance overseas, with more than 70 percent of respondents recognizing the positive impact of the BRI on individuals, states and global governance.
European think tank Bruegel released a paper titled “Global Trends in Countries’ Perceptions of the Belt and Road Initiative” in April 2023, which noted that the BRI is generally positively received in the world, and Central Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, in particular, exhibit strongly positive sentiment towards the BRI.
The BRI has garnered strength for the progress of human civilization. The global influence of various multilateral and bilateral political party exchange mechanisms has increased with the creation of mechanisms such as the CPC and World Political Parties Summit, and the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-level Meeting.
Various BRI cooperation mechanisms have emerged, including the Silk Road Think Tank Association, the Belt and Road Initiative Tax Administration Cooperation Mechanism, the Alliance of International Science Organizations, the Belt and Road Health Professionals Development Alliance, the Silk Road International League of Theaters, and the Silk Road International Museum Alliance. The emergence of such mechanisms has facilitated people-to-people exchanges in diverse forms, promoting mutual understanding, mutual respect, and mutual appreciation among the peoples of all countries.