Commentary: China’s Belt and Road Initiative — from vision to reality

135444908_14661426174961nBEIJING, June 17 (Xinhua) — The Belt and Road Initiative, a daring proposal of reviving the ancient trade routes across Eurasia and beyond through open and inclusive cooperation, has now turned from vision to reality nearly three years after it was put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

On June 10, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a major financing agency for the initiative, joined hands with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on financing a highway project in Pakistan, marking the first cooperation between the two regional lenders.

If one wonders in what ways the China-proposed initiative is open and inclusive, the 100-million-U.S. dollar project, which also involves Britain’s Department for International Development (DFID), is a good example.

China seeks cooperation and mutual benefits instead of control — the project in Pakistan was administered by the ADB — and it welcomes the participation of a third party — in this case, Britain’s DFID.

Needless to say, there are other ways of cooperation under the umbrella of the initiative, but the same principle runs through all the projects: open and inclusive cooperation on equal footing.

And the principle works.

The ambitious initiative, comprised of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road that stretch from China’s eastern coast to the Middle East, Africa, Western Europe and even beyond, has already achieved substantial achievements.

And its vision of open, inclusive and win-win cooperation bringing prosperity to the world’s foremost inner lands has gradually been translated into an inspiring reality.

In addition to the recent example of cooperation between the AIIB and the ADB, China has also signed agreements on production capacity cooperation with 20 countries, committing funds of 100 billion dollars. In the year of 2015, Chinese companies made 15-billion-dollar worth of direct investment in the countries along the land and sea routes.

Along the far-reaching routes, many infrastructure projects under the framework of the initiative are either under way or to be commenced soon, such as the Hungary-Serbia Railway and the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Rail.

What has been achieved so far helps boost the confidence of China and other countries involved and demonstrates China’s will and ability to carry out open, inclusive cooperation with its partners.


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