BEIJING, April 30 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping has promised that China is looking to serve the long-term interests of all countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.
Xi made the remarks on Friday afternoon at a group study attended by members of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on the history of the Silk Road and Maritime Silk Road.
“The Belt and Road Initiative, though initiated by China, is not only about China,” he said. “I hope people in all countries along the Belt and Road will actually feel the benefit brought by the initiative.”
It aims to boost not only China’s development but also that of other countries, Xi said. “While taking care of our own interests, we will give more consideration and care to the interests of other countries,” he said.
The Belt and Road Initiative, which comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, was brought up by Xi in 2013, with the aim of building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road routes.
The initiative covers about 4.4 billion people in more than 60 countries, or 63 percent of the global population.
Since the Han Dynasty about 2,000 years ago, the ancient Silk Road starting from Chang’an, now northwest China’s Xi’an city, has served as a route for international trade and cultural exchange connecting China with various nations through Eurasia. There were also other routes starting from south China and spreading outwards by sea, called the Maritime Silk Road.
“The ancient silk roads are not just routes of trade, but routes of friendship,” said Xi.
The president stressed the function of the market in promoting the initiative while insisting on the government’s leading role in overall coordination.
He urged Chinese companies to value not only economic returns from their investment projects in foreign countries but also their reputation as law-abiding and responsible entities.
Cultural and people-to-people exchanges are also an important part of the initiative, Xi said, calling for mutual understanding and respect among all involved countries.
He also called for enhanced security cooperation under the initiative.