BEIJING –China will make solid efforts to pursue the Belt and Road Initiative which calls for integration of the Asia, Africa and Europe into a cohesive economic area through infrastructure, cultural exchanges and trade, Chinese Primeri Li Keqiang said on Sunday.
In his 42-page government work report during the opening of the 5th Session of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC), Li said Belt and Road Initiative will further refine China’s opening up to the world.
”Guided by the principle of achieving shared growth through consultation and collaboration, we will accelerate the building of overland, economic corridors and maritime cooperation hubs, and establish cooperative mechanisms for achieving compatibility in customs clearance procedures along the routes,” Li said.
He said China will deepen international industrial-capacity cooperation to promote Chinese equipment, technologies, standards and services “to see to it that China and other countries are able to draw each other’s strengths.”
”We will strengthen exchange and cooperation in education, culture and tourism,” he added.
Chinese President Xi Jingping put forward the Belt and Road Initiative during his Central and Southeast Asia visit in 2013.
The initiative, also known as the ‘One Belt, One Road’, refers to China’s plan to build a Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road covering East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, West Asia, Central Asia, and East-Central Europe.
By July 2016, more than 70 countries as well as international and regional organizations had expressed their support and willingness to join the initiative. At least 30 of them had reached agreements to cooperate with China.
”We opened China wider to the rest of the world. As we push ahead with the Belt and Road Initiative, he worked to increase complementarity between the development strategies of, and practical cooperation between China and other countries along the routes,” Li said.
In May, China will host a Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to brainstorm on interconnected development.
”We will see that in holding the Belt and Road Forum, we offer a meeting of real quality, opening the page of a great new chapter of mutually beneficial cooperation,” Li said.
The Belt and Road Initiative is also part of China’s three strategic initiatives that fall under the 13th Five-Year Plan from 2016 to 2020. Other initiatives are Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei integration and the Yangtze Economic Belt.
In his report, Li said China will also support peace and stability, equity and justice, international order and global development.
”We will contribute to a framework that ensures the overall stability and balanced development of relations between major countries,” the Premier said.
”China is ready to join hands with the international community and build a new type of international relations based on cooperation and mutual benefit,” he added.