China pushes new global economic initiative

President Xi Jinping of China

China says sustained global economic growth is only possible if nations adopt an open-door policy to trade and investment.

Chinese president Xi Jinping said this at the end of the maiden Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing.

President Xi Jinping elaborated on what had inspired him to come up with the Belt and Road Initiative, stressing that it is aimed at galvanizing global cooperation and is open to all.

The Belt and Road development does not shut out, nor is it directed against, any party,” Xi told the summit.

Xi said he was glad to see positive responses to and extensive support for the initiative from the international community, with more than 100 countries and international organizations already engaging in it.

He spoke of the myriad of challenges the world faces: sluggish trade and investment, wobbling economic globalisation, increasingly unbalanced development, impact from large-scale migration of refugees and immigrants, as well as wars, conflicts and terrorism.

Countries are exploring their own ways to deal with these challenges and have put forward many good development strategies and initiatives, but it is difficult to rely on a single country to manage or solve the global problems”, Xi said, citing the inter-dependence between nations.

The Chinese leader noted that only by aligning their policies and integrating economic factors and resources in a global scale can countries create synergy to promote world peace, stability and shared development.

Under these circumstances, the world may well draw wisdom and strength from the ancient Silk Road, which features the spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit”, Xi said.

Under the Belt and Road framework, Xi explained, all parties can join hands to meet the global challenges in the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits.

Though originating from China, the Belt and Road Initiative belongs to the whole world, while its development goes beyond regions, stages of development, and civilizations, according to the president.

The initiative also enables countries to create new development opportunities and impetus, and leverage their comparative advantages for win-win results, to make progress toward building a community of shared future for mankind.

China’s investment in Belt and Road countries has surpassed $50 billion. Credit Suisse Group AG estimates the plan could funnel investments worth as much as $502 billion into 62 countries over five years.

A total of 29 foreign heads of state and government leaders attended the two-day forum.