Beijing held the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation on October 18. Xi Jinping gave a keynote address, announcing an eight-point action plan for China’s development of the “Belt and Road” Initiative:
- Construct a three-dimensional interconnected network for the “Belt and Road.” China will accelerate the high-quality development of the China-Europe Railway Express, participate in the construction of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, organize the China-Europe Railway Express International Cooperation Forum, and work with all parties to establish a new Eurasian logistics corridor supported by direct rail and road. China will actively promote the integrated development of “Silk Road Ocean Shipping,” expedite the construction of new land-sea transportation channels and the Air Silk Road.
- Support the development of an open world economy. China will establish “Silk Road e-commerce” cooperation pilot zones, sign free trade treaties and investment protection treaties with more countries, comprehensively remove foreign investment access restrictions in the manufacturing sector, and actively align with international high-standard economic and trade rules. China will deepen cross-border trade in services and high-level openness for investment, expand market access for digital products, and reform in areas such as state-owned enterprises, the digital economy, intellectual property, and government procurement. China will also host a “Global Digital Trade Expo” annually. In the next five years (2024-2028), China’s total imports and exports of goods and services are expected to surpass $32 trillion and $5 trillion US dollars, respectively.
- Promote practical cooperation. China will coordinate the promotion of landmark projects and “small but beautiful” livelihood projects. The China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China will each establish 350 billion RMB financing windows, while the Silk Road Fund will inject an additional 80 billion RMB. These initiatives will support co-building the “Belt and Road” projects in a market-oriented and commercial way. During this summit, the Entrepreneur Conference reached 97.2 billion US dollars in project cooperation agreements. China will also implement 1,000 small livelihood assistance projects, promote vocational education cooperation with foreign countries through the “Luban Workshops” (master-craftsman workshops), and enhance security guarantees for co-building “Belt and Road” projects and personnel.
- Promote green development. China will continue to deepen cooperation with other countries in areas such as green infrastructure, green energy, and green transportation. They will support the “Belt and Road” Green Development International Alliance, continue to host the “Belt and Road” Green Innovation Conference, establish a photovoltaic industry dialogue and exchange mechanism, and a green low-carbon expert network. They will implement the “Belt and Road” Green Investment Principles and provide training for 100,000 people from partner countries by 2030.
- Advance technological innovation. China will continue to implement the “Belt and Road” Science and Technology Innovation Action Plan, hold the first “Belt and Road” Science and Technology Exchange Conference, expand the joint laboratories established with various parties to 100 in the next five years, support short-term work by young scientists from various countries in China, and propose a global initiative on the governance of artificial intelligence (AI) during this summit. China is willing to strengthen exchanges and dialogue with all countries to promote the healthy, orderly, and secure development of global AI.
- Support people-to-people exchange. China will host the “Liangzhu Forum” to deepen cultural dialogues with the “Belt and Road” participating countries. In addition to the Silk Road International Theater, Art Festival, museums, art galleries, and library alliances already established, China will create a Silk Road Tourist City Alliance. China will continue the “Silk Road” Chinese Government Scholarship Program.
- Build a clean (non-corruptive) “Belt and Road.” China, together with its partners, will release the “Effectiveness and Prospects of Clean Construction of the ‘Belt and Road'” and introduce “High-Level Principles for Clean Construction of the ‘Belt and Road'” during this summit. China will establish an assessment system on “Belt and Road” enterprises’ “clean” (non-corruptive) compliance and cooperate with international organizations in research and training on clean training.
- Improve the international cooperation mechanism for the “Belt and Road.” China will strengthen the construction of multilateral cooperation platforms in various fields such as energy, taxation, finance, green development, disaster reduction, anti-corruption, think tanks, media, culture, and more with countries co-building the “Belt and Road.” They will continue to hold the “Belt and Road” International Cooperation Summit Forum and establish a summit forum secretariat.
Source: Website of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, October 18, 2023