A Remarkable Era: China's Insight and Dedication in the Belt and Road Initiative


Yumeng Li   Xinmiao Yang   and Zewen Song

In September and October 2013, President Xi Jinping proposed the cooperative initiatives of building the "New Silk Road Economic Belt" and the "21st Century Maritime Silk Road," collectively referred to as the "Belt and Road Initiative" (BRI).The Belt and Road aims at hold high the banner of peaceful development, actively develop economic cooperation with its partners, and jointly build a community of interests, destiny and responsibility based on political mutual trust, economic integration and cultural tolerance. During the past 10 years, China has taken practical actions to solve the development problems of developing countries, eliminated the unstable factors in many parts of the world, injected new vitality into the development of the world economy, contributed Chinese wisdom to world peace and stability, demonstrated the image of China as a responsible great power, and set an example of: what it means to be a great power.

Chinese wisdom has solved the development problems of developing countries. Historically, global economic protocols were dictated by developed nations which have restricted the development of developing countries by erecting trade barriers, formulating market protection measures, and launching rounds of trade wars, etc. In the context of globalisation, developing countries have been forced to accept these rules set by developed countries if they want to seek greater development, and the problem of imbalance between North and South has become increasingly prominent. It is against this background that the "Belt and Road" concept came into being, which has been called "China's top strategic concept", providing developing countries with equal opportunities for exchanges and cooperation, and diversified options for their economic development. BRI's reach spans across continents, touching countries such as  Kenya and Pakistan. The Belt and Road Initiative is a global strategic framework proposed by China to promote economic cooperation and development in Asia, Europe and Africa. It passes through many developing countries, including Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Kazakhstan in Asia, Russia, Serbia and Greece in Europe, and Egypt, Kenya and Nigeria in Africa. Through their participation in the Belt and Road project, they not only receive opportunities for Chinese investment, infrastructure construction, trade cooperation and technology transfer to reduce poverty and improve the living standards of their people; they also promote inter-regional trade and connectivity, and enhance their status and influence in the global economy. Developing countries often grapple with political instabilities, legal gaps, infrastructural deficiencies and they also face problems of inadequate infrastructure, unstable energy supply and resource shortages; and the lack of a high-quality labour force and the ability to innovate may also impede economic growth and industrial upgrading. Global economic instability and external shocks can have a significant impact on the economic growth of developing countries. Imbalances in international trade, volatility in financial markets and cyclical fluctuations in the global economy may make developing countries more vulnerable to external shocks. Against this backdrop, the Belt and Road project has maximised its resilience to help developing countries recover. It not only focuses on infrastructure construction, but also covers trade, investment, finance, energy, humanistic exchanges and other areas. This multidisciplinary cooperation makes the Belt and Road Initiative more adaptable and flexible, able to meet the development needs of different countries and regions; at the same time, the Belt and Road Initiative adopts a variety of cooperation modes, including inter-governmental cooperation, enterprise cooperation, regional cooperation and so on. This multi-level and multi-channel mode of cooperation enables the Belt and Road Initiative to choose the most suitable mode of cooperation according to specific circumstances and needs, and to enhance the flexibility and effectiveness of cooperation.

China has taken on the role of removing factors of instability in many parts of the world. China's role in alleviating global unrest is noteworthy. Advocating for cooperative peace, as General Secretary Xi mentioned at the opening ceremony of the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, the gift of a rose is worth the price of admission. With full respect for the historical background and development status of each country, China has put forward the concept of cooperation based on common development and sharing, and has jointly formulated cooperation plans and projects through dialogue and consultation with other countries; at the same time, it actively participates in and supports the system of multilateralism, and advocates the resolution of global issues through international cooperation. China actively participates in international organisations such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation and the international financial institutions, and actively cooperates with different countries and organisations in a wide range of fields, promoting regional and even world peace through multilateral cooperation. The Belt and Road Initiative covers a wide range of regions, including Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America, and the participating countries have different political, economic and cultural backgrounds, but they have mutual trust and communication with each other. This is due to the fact that the Belt and Road project is able to make flexible adjustments and co-operation according to the characteristics and needs of different countries, and take into full consideration the interests and concerns of each country, making it possible for countries to seek common ground while reserving differences and to be in harmony, making the Belt and Road project a worthy model for dealing with issues of regional co-operation and development, and injecting a lot of positive factors into regional stability. China is a responsible big country. Financially, institutions like the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the Silk Road Fund underpin the BRI's projects provided stable financial support .These institutions provide financing channels for countries along the route to help them achieve their infrastructure construction and economic development goals. China has invested a large amount of money in infrastructure construction in countries along the Belt and Road. These investments cover transport, energy, communications and other areas, helping to improve the level of infrastructure in the countries along the route and promote trade and the movement of people. China has made important contributions to the implementation of the Belt and Road project through its efforts in investment, infrastructure construction, trade promotion, financial cooperation, cultural exchanges and regional cooperation. Those efforts had helped to promote cooperation and development among countries along the route, boost regional economic growth and prosperity, enhance cohesion among the populations of the countries along the route, and make a great contribution to regional stability.

The past decade under the BRI's ambit has been transformative, but not without challenges. However, the implementation of the Belt and Road project in developing countries has been accompanied by a number of challenges and controversies: political risks, with a number of geopolitical disputes between China and some of the countries along the route, such as the South China Sea dispute. These disputes may have a negative impact on the co-operation and relationship between the two sides. Financial risks: there are differences in the level of economic development, culture and social systems between China and developing countries along the route. Trade barriers and protectionism are a major challenge in the construction of the Belt and Road. Some countries have adopted protective measures to restrict trade and investment liberalisation, hindering the deepening of economic cooperation between the two sides. Environmental risks: Belt and Road projects involve large-scale infrastructure construction, such as roads, railways, ports


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