On Friday, China released a document titled “Vision and Actions for High-Quality Belt and Road Cooperation: Brighter Prospects for the Next Decade.” The document, formulated by the Office of the Leading Group for Promoting the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), outlines the vision and measures for high-quality BRI cooperation over the next decade.
A decade of achievements of the Belt and Road
Over the past ten years, the BRI has evolved into a popular international public good and a cooperation platform that contributes new growth drivers to the global economy. More than 150 countries and over 30 international organizations have participated in it.
From 2013 to October 2023, total imports and exports between China and participating countries exceeded 21 trillion U.S. dollars, and China’s direct investment in BRI partner countries topped 270 billion dollars. “The prospects of jointly building the BRI are tremendously bright,” said Xu Jianping, an official of the National Development and Reform Commission.
The next decade: high-quality development
The document encourages all parties to strive toward equal cooperation and mutual benefit, propelling Belt and Road cooperation into a new phase characterized by high-quality development.
Five objectives are specified in the document:
- Building a smoother and more efficient connectivity network
- Ensuring comprehensive and practical cooperation to reach new levels
- Elevating the sense of gain and fulfillment for the peoples of all participating countries
- Establishing a new system to support China’s open economy at a more advanced stage
- Popularizing the vision of a global community of shared future
Key areas and directions for Belt and Road cooperation in the next decade include policy coordination, infrastructure connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration, people-to-people ties, and cooperation in new fields.
Building closer ties
One of the major moves for the next stage will be building closer ties with BRI partners on infrastructure connectivity. Guo Xuejun, an official with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, mentioned that China, along with other parties, will participate in the construction of a new logistics corridor across the Eurasian continent linked by direct road transportation and the trans-Caspian international transport corridor.
Belt and Road: Future prospects
The document emphasizes the importance of policy coordination, infrastructure connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration, and people-to-people ties. It also highlights the need for cooperation in new fields as key areas and directions for Belt and Road cooperation in the next decade.
The Belt and Road Initiative is not just about infrastructure development. It’s also about fostering deeper economic integration and building a global community with a shared future. This vision is reflected in the document’s emphasis on policy coordination and financial integration.
In terms of infrastructure connectivity, the document outlines plans for a new logistics corridor across the Eurasian continent, linked by direct road transportation and the trans-Caspian international transport corridor. This ambitious project will involve close cooperation with BRI partners and has the potential to significantly enhance trade and economic ties across the region.
The document also underscores the importance of unimpeded trade. By working towards this goal, the BRI can help to create a more open and inclusive global economy. This is particularly relevant in the current global context, where trade tensions and protectionism are on the rise.
Financial integration is another key area of focus. The document suggests that greater financial integration can facilitate investment and trade, thereby contributing to economic growth and development. This will require concerted efforts to improve financial infrastructure, enhance financial services, and promote the use of local currencies in trade and investment.
Finally, the document highlights the importance of people-to-people ties. By fostering greater cultural understanding and exchange, the BRI can help to build bridges between different cultures and societies. This is crucial for promoting peace and stability in a world that is increasingly interconnected.
In conclusion, the document presents a comprehensive and ambitious vision for the next decade of the Belt and Road Initiative. It sets out clear objectives and measures for high-quality cooperation, with a strong emphasis on mutual benefit and shared development.