The Second Forum and the Roadmap for International Cooperation (BRF) was successfully held in Beijing from April 25-27. At the invitation of President Xi Jinping, 40 national leaders and heads of international organizations, including Prime Minister Imran Khan, attended the forum. The event was also attended by more than 6,000 representatives from 150 countries and 92 international organizations. Participants exchanged in-depth views under the theme “Cooperation on the road and the road: forging a brighter shared future”, reached a broad consensus on the promotion of high-quality road and highway cooperation with refined principles, reassured priorities and stronger mechanisms.
First, review and summarize the progress and importance of the cooperation of Belt and Road.
The cooperation between road and highway has created opportunities for common prosperity. Since the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was proposed more than five years ago, and especially after the first BRF in 2017, related parties have made concerted efforts to expand policy communication, improve infrastructure connectivity, promote economic, commercial and investment cooperation, and improve financial cooperation and facilitate exchange from person to person. The “early harvests” of the Belt and Road cooperation achieved so far have opened up more space for national and global economic growth, provided a platform to improve international cooperation and made a new contribution to build a community with a shared future for the humanity.
Second, set the goal of high-quality development of road and belt cooperation.
As President Xi Jinping pointed out, to achieve the high-quality development of Belt and Road cooperation, we must respect the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. We are committed to supporting open, clean and green development and have agreed to act on high-level principles, people-centered development and sustainable development. These common views have been included in the joint communiqué of the BRF Roundtable Summit, which has become an international consensus and will lead the parties to refine the cooperation plan of Belt and Road.
The concept articulated by President Xi Jinping to act according to the principles of high international standard, which guarantees the commercial and financial sustainability of progress, has been widely recognized by the international community. So far, no country has fallen into a debt crisis because of BRI. On the contrary, many countries have left the “poverty trap” by participating in the BRI.
Third, build a global partnership in connectivity.
Connectivity is the key to the cooperation of Belt and Road. We will support multilateralism, we will work to promote a framework led by the BRF and supported by multilateral and bilateral cooperation in several areas. We will find greater complementarity between economic development initiatives and the plans of interested countries and international organizations, we will intensify bilateral cooperation in third party markets and we will continue to develop international transport and commercial links to help more countries improve connectivity So far, 127 countries and 29 international organizations have signed documents with China on BRI cooperation, which has effectively promoted the development of economic ties.
On the other hand, achieve fruitful results in results-oriented cooperation.
The BRI cooperation is results-oriented rather than an interview program. In the period prior to and during the Forum, the parties achieved 283 deliverables, a large number of business representatives participated in the CEO’s conference and signed cooperation agreements for projects worth more than US $ 64 billion. China has signed more than 100 documents of multilateral and bilateral cooperation with interested countries, published the report on the progress of cooperation in the Strip and the Road, the framework of analysis on the sustainability of the debt for the projects of the Strip and the Road, as well as the report of the Consultative Council of the BRF, etc. In Beijing, constructive suggestions were raised on the high-quality and sustainable development of the Belt and Road in the next stage.
This year’s Forum sends a clear message: more and more friends and partners are joining the cooperation of Belt and Road of their own free will, and cooperation enjoys greater popularity, higher quality and better prospects. The Forum has indicated the direction of the cooperation of Belt and Road and has created an important opportunity to promote global economic growth and achieve common prosperity. At the same time, the Forum also builds a bridge and a stage for China to strengthen friendship and deepen bilateral relations with several BRI partners.
China and Pakistan are strategic all-weather cooperative partners and “iron brothers”, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a major pilot project for the BRI and a historic project for cooperation between the two countries in the new era.
After his first visit to China last November, Prime Minister Imran Khan went to China for the Second BRF and made important speeches at the opening ceremony and at the Round Table Summit. The meetings between President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Li Keqiang and Vice President Wang Qishan with Prime Minister Imran Khan, respectively, have indicated the direction of our strategic all-weather cooperation with clear measures.
With regard to bilateral relations, both sides positively assessed the strategic cooperation in all climates between China and Pakistan, China firmly supported Pakistan to safeguard its national sovereignty and dignity, choosing its own development path suited to its national conditions. The two sides agreed to maintain the momentum of high-level exchanges, deepen exchanges and cooperation in politics, security, trade and investment, contact between people and other fields, and mutually support each other on issues of central interest.
With respect to CPEC, the two sides reviewed the important consensus reached during the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to China last year. This time, the two leaders made a high-level design for CPEC’s high-quality development, underlining the importance of generating policy synergies between the BRI and Pakistan’s development strategy, with more emphasis on industrial cooperation and projects. of social improvement and livelihoods. Prime Minister Imran Khan once again reaffirmed his support for CPEC. Their comments on jointly addressing climate change, the construction of a tourism and livelihood corridor, the promotion of the anti-corruption campaign, the creation of a poverty alleviation fund, the expansion of free trade and investment were also well received by all the participants in the forum.
With regard to regional and international issues, the two sides exchanged views on situations in Afghanistan and South Asia. China appreciates Pakistan’s efforts to combat terrorism and maintain regional peace. The two parties were satisfied with their close cooperation in international and multilateral forums and agreed to deepen communication and coordination at all levels.
During the forum, the leaders of the two countries witnessed the signing of six bilateral agreements, including CPFTA-II, Declaration of Completion of Phase I of the Preliminary Design regarding the ML-1 update and the construction of a new port dry near Havelian Dry Port under CPEC, China-Pakistan Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement, Memorandum of Understanding on Economic and Social Cooperation of CPEC, Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the field of Marine Sciences between the Geological Survey of China and the Navy of Pakistan, Concession Contract of Rashakai SEZ. The two sides also agreed on 14 cooperation initiatives or documents covering transport, customs, agriculture, postal services, energy, disaster reduction, technology, environmental protection, intellectual property and many other fields. 370 Chinese entrepreneurs attended the China-Pakistan Trade and Investment Forum held in Beijing. They expressed optimism about Pakistan’s development potential and willingness to take advantage of investment opportunities.
All the cooperation mentioned above focused on industrial cooperation and the improvement of social livelihoods as priorities for the next phase of the CPEC. It is also totally in line with the “Naya Pakistan” proposed by the Pakistani government and the attractiveness of the common people of Pakistan. It represents the expectation and determination of China and Pakistan to integrate their interests and seek common development. It has injected new momentum into the development of China-Pakistan relations and CPEC in the new era.
The BRI originated in China, but its opportunities and achievements are shared by the world. Pakistan is an important supporter and participant in the BRI. The high-quality development of BRI will create more opportunities for China-Pakistan relations and CPEC. China is willing to work with the Pakistani government and its people to implement the BRF consensus and the outcome of the leaders meeting. We will greatly deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields, to ensure the expansion and expansion of the CPEC, in order to better serve the two countries and the two peoples and achieve common prosperity and progress. I believe that China and Pakistan, working hand in hand, will forge a closer Sino-Pakistani community of shared future in the new era, and contribute to a new and beneficial chapter of Belt and Road cooperation.
The author is Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan. The article first appeared in The Pakistan Observer on May 3.