Asia-Pacific is the world’s fastest-growing area, with the most potential and energetic cooperation. It is home to 60% of the global population and 70% of the global GDP. It has accounted for more than two-thirds of global growth and is becoming increasingly crucial in the worldwide fight against COVID-19 as well as economic recovery.
On June 23, 2021, China hosted the Asia-Pacific High-Level Conference on Belt and Road Cooperation via video link. The conference brought together leaders and senior officials from 29 countries and international organizations to discuss how to “Strengthen Cooperation against COVID-19 and Boost Economic Recover”. The participants jointly presented the Initiative for Belt and Road Partnership on COVID-19 Vaccines Cooperation and the Initiative for Belt and Road Partnership on Green Development, as well as the Belt and Road Partnership on Green Development, and pointed out the direction of Belt and Road cooperation for the next stage.
In 2013, President Xi Jinping proposed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), with the goal of continuing the Silk Road ethos and co-building an open platform for cooperation with all countries to produce new driving forces for all countries’ growth. Over the past eight years, the BRI has evolved from vision to reality, bringing enormous opportunities and benefits to countries all over the world, guided by the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits, and with joint participation and efforts of all parties.
Up to 140 countries have signed papers with China on the Belt and Road Initiative. The value of trade between China and BRI partners has surpassed $9.2 trillion dollars. Chinese corporations have invested more than US$130 billion in nations along the Belt and Road. According to a World Bank estimate, the BRI could boost global commerce by 6.2 percent and world real income by 2.9 percent if completely implemented. The BRI has actually evolved into the world’s most comprehensive and expansive platform for international collaboration.
Despite the abrupt emergence of COVID-19, Belt and Road cooperation continued. It persevered in the face of the headwinds, demonstrating extraordinary resiliency and energy. The Belt and Road partners lent a helping hand to one another, pooled their resources, and worked together to build an international cooperation wall against COVID-19.
The secret to BRI’s success is our commitment to equitable consultation, mutual benefit, and win-win outcomes, as well as openness and inclusion, innovation, and progress. All collaboration partners are equal members of the BRI family, regardless of their economic size. The BRI originated in China, but it provides chances and positive outcomes for all countries, benefiting the entire world, as President Xi stated. It is a non-ideologically biassed public route open to all kinds of systems and civilizations. It welcomes any global cooperation projects that promote greater connection and shared growth. BRI started in the financial industry, but it doesn’t stop there. By establishing the Silk Road of health, the Green Silk Road, the Digital Silk Road, and a road to poverty alleviation, it is becoming a new platform for improved global governance.
China will strive with all other partners to continue our high-quality Belt and Road cooperation and to strengthen our collaboration for health cooperation, connectivity, green development, and openness and inclusion at a new historical starting point.
China is ready to work with Tonga and other Asia-Pacific countries to promote high-quality Belt and Road development, provide Asia-Pacific solutions to the global fight against COVID-19, and transmit Asia-Pacific confidence in the world economy’s long-term recovery, all while adhering to the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, to help contribute more to the development of a community with a shared future in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as a community with a shared future for all of humanity.