China welcomes all South Asian countries under OBOR Initiative (Speech by Chinese Ambassador Yu Hong at OBOR Seminar)

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,Good morning. I’m very glad to attend the “Belt and Road and South Asia” Seminar. Since President Xi Jinping put forward the “Belt and Road” Initiative in 2013, it has gained more and more welcome and attention. In Kathmandu, I can clearly feel the people’s increasing enthusiasm for the “Belt and Road” Initiative discussion. It is significant that China Study Center organizes the “Belt and Road and South Asia” Seminar, which provides a precious opportunity for the scholars from China and the South Asian countries to discuss the development of “Belt and Road” Initiative and South Asia and the cooperation between China and South Asia.

China shares common boundaries with 5 out of 8 South Asian countries and are good neighbors, good partners and good friends with 8 South Asian countries. The relations between China and the South Asian countries have got encouraging progress in the past decades. Currently, China is striving for national development and the South Asian countries are also experiencing the great reform and transition. In recent years, most of the South Asian countries achieve high economic growth. The South Asia is a subcontinent full of hope and enormous potentials and is expected to be a new growth pole in the area of Asia, even in the world.

It is China’s consistent standpoint that one stable and prosperous South Asia conforms to the interests of countries and peoples in this region. China would like, joining hands with the South Asian countries, to meet challenges and realize the development. Since 2013, China has put forward the regional cooperation initiatives such as the “Belt and Road” Initiative, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar (BCIM) Economic Corridor and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The “Belt and Road” Initiative is the most important public product that China provides to the world. China welcome the South Asian countries to participate in the “Belt and Road” Initiative and promote policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bonds as their five major goals with the principle of wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits.

Since the reform and opening up, China has made great achievements. Many Nepali friends inquire the secret of the achievements, for which there two key reasons. Firstly, China emphasizes the development of infrastructure. As one old Chinese saying goes, “Wanna be rich? Build roads first!” The improvement of infrastructure accelerates the development of Chinese economy, changes the people’s life style, reduces cost of logistics and becomes the main reason attracting foreign investments.  Secondly, China has stale policy. Stability and development are the priorities for the Central and Local government of China. The political and policy stability creates favorable condition for the development. The policy stability is the social basis of the political stability.

The South Asian countries have large population, broad market and rich resources but are serious shortage of infrastructure.  The improvement of infrastructure construction level in South Asian countries is conducive to the regional economic development and the synergetic development of neighboring countries and regions. The “Belt and Road” Initiative conforms to the development requirement of the South Asian countries.

The “Belt and Road” Initiative with the aim of achieving the co-prosperities of various countries and regional social and economic development, is open, inclusive and pragmatic and has got positive response and support from more 100 countries and international organizations , 40 of which have signed the cooperation agreements with China. Batches of major projects promote the economic development, create lots of jobs and achieve initial success.

The Chinese side adheres to the principle of openness and expects the achievement to benefit more extensive regions. The Chinese side adheres to market operation and abides by market discipline and international prevailing rules and allows full play to the functions of market and enterprises. The Chinese side adheres to mutual benefit and win-win result, enhances understanding and trust and promotes common development.

The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation will be held on May 14, 2017, in Beijing, China. It is the highest level meeting held by China under the “Belt and Road” Initiative and is widely supported and participated by the international community including the South Asian countries. The main purpose of the Forum is to collect the wisdom, summarize the successful experience, plan out the cooperative route and co-build the cooperation platform. We would like to build up a more closely and robust partnership network and achieve the effective connection in the aspects of developing strategies and economic policies of all counties.

(Chinese Ambassador Yu made these remarks at a one-day Belt and Road seminar organized by China Study Centre in Kathmandu on April 29, 2017)

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