We will continue to develop a green Silk Road, encourage businesses to fulfill their social responsibility, learn from environmental, social, and governance concepts, and build more eco-friendly projects with a high standard, in a bid to pursue the green development of the Belt and Road cooperation.Han Wenxiu, CPC Central Committee
Statement on BRI at press conference on guiding principles of 6th plenary session of 19th CPC Central Committee, by Han Wenxiu, deputy director in charge of routine work of the Office of the Commission for Financial and Economic Affairs of the CPC Central Committee, on November 17, 2021.
At the press conference, the media outlet Channel NewsAsia (CNA) asked the following question:
A recent study into China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has found that several projects in developing countries have met with implementation problems. Some of the reasons said for this include debt and environmental hazards. And now we have also seen that the U.S. and Europe announced their own infrastructure initiatives. I would like to ask, with this regard, how has that changed the BRI in China’s overall development plan? Thank you.
Han Wenxiu replied:
Thanks for your question. It has been eight years since President Xi Jinping proposed the significant BRI. Through practice, we have fully verified that the BRI is a hugely popular international public product and platform for international cooperation. As of 2020, trade between China and countries along the Belt and Road exceeded $9.2 trillion, and China’s direct investment in these countries has amounted to nearly $140 billion. Progress made in major projects, such as the China-Laos Railway and Jakarta-Bandung Railway, showcases China’s strong capacity and efficacy of its engineering feats. The Belt and Road cooperation has greatly contributed to the anti-pandemic fight as well as global economic recovery. China has provided more than 1.7 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to more than 110 countries and international organizations, most of which are Belt and Road countries. Since 2020, the China-Europe freight train services have surged against various challenges, running about 1,000 trips on a monthly basis. A total of 25,000 such trips have been launched, delivering more than 2.3 million TEUs of goods and more than 13 million items of anti-epidemic supplies. It is fair to say that the route along the Belt and Road has truly become a Silk Road for healthcare, providing strong support for the stability of the global supply chain and people’s basic livelihood, and bringing tangible benefits to countries along the Belt and Road and local people.
In the face of interwoven impacts, brought about by profound changes in the world and the pandemic, both unseen in a century, we resolutely promote the high-quality development of the Belt and Road cooperation. We need to uphold the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, as well as remain committed to the vision of open, green and clean cooperation, and focus on high-standard, public-oriented, and sustainable cooperation projects, so as to continuously adapt the BRI to the new situation and make progress.
First, we have paid more attention to the green development of the Belt and Road cooperation. We have been proactively cooperating in fields such as green infrastructure, green energy and green finance. For instance, the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway and China-Laos Railway projects feature animal channels to effectively protect local ecosystems and the environment. Not long ago, President Xi Jinping announced at the general debate of the UN General Assembly that China will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad. This is a vital decision to address climate change and a testament to China’s sense of responsibility. We will continue to develop a green Silk Road, encourage businesses to fulfill their social responsibility, learn from environmental, social, and governance concepts, and build more eco-friendly projects with a high standard, in a bid to pursue the green development of the Belt and Road cooperation.
Second, we have paid more attention to the sustainable development of the Belt and Road cooperation. Together with the international community, China has been helping low-income countries alleviate their debt burdens. China is the biggest contributor to the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative. China has published the Debt Sustainability Framework for participating countries of the Belt and Road Initiative, and we will follow the principle of debt sustainability, optimize the policy system for risk prevention and control, and improve the quality and efficiency of investments.
Third, we have paid more attention to the inclusive development of the Belt and Road cooperation. We prioritize people’s wellbeing and work to build more livelihood projects, which can bring tangible benefits in a quick and far-reaching way, to enhance people’s sense of fulfillment in countries along the Belt and Road.
Fourth, we have paid more attention to the innovative development of the Belt and Road cooperation. China supports countries along the Belt and Road in developing their digital economy, bridges the digital divide, and strengthens innovative cooperation, in a bid to share the benefits brought about by the new sci-tech and industrial revolution.
The Belt and Road cooperation is a chorus made up of all its participating countries, instead of a solo performance by China. Currently, the world, and especially developing countries, is facing a huge gap in infrastructure investment. We welcome all countries to participate in the Belt and Road cooperation and keep an open mind about cooperative initiatives that are conducive to enhancing connectivity and realizing common development. We believe that the Belt and Road cooperation fits the realities of its partners, has unique advantages and is quite popular. The Belt and Road cooperation is bound to develop on a steady and sustained course and it will yield more win-win achievements. Thank you.
SOURCE: China.org.cn, November 17, 2021.