Xi Jinping's Keynote to Belt & Road Forum Emphasized Goals of the BRI, New Policy Steps China Is Taking

April 30, 2019

Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech to the opening ceremony of the Second Belt and Road Forum on April 26, "Working Together To Deliver a Brighter Future For Belt and Road Cooperation," broadly laid out the BRF approach and prospects for the future.

"Together, we will create an even brighter future for Belt and Road cooperation.... The joint pursuit of the BRI aims to enhance connectivity and practical cooperation. It is about jointly meeting various challenges and risks confronting mankind and delivering win-win outcomes and common development.... A large number of cooperation projects have been launched, and the decisions of the first BRF have been smoothly implemented. More than 150 countries and international organizations have signed agreements on Belt and Road cooperation with China....

"Infrastructure is the bedrock of connectivity, while the lack of infrastructure has held up the development of many countries. High-quality, sustainable, resilient, affordable, inclusive and accessible infrastructure projects can help countries fully leverage their resource endowment, better integrate into the global supply, industrial and value chains, and realize inter-connected development. To this end, China will continue to work with other parties to build a connectivity network centering on economic corridors such as the New Eurasian Land Bridge....

"Innovation boosts productivity; it makes companies competitive and countries strong.... China will continue to carry out the Belt and Road Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation Action Plan, and will work with our partners to pursue four major initiatives, namely the Science and Technology People-to-People Exchange Initiative, the Joint Laboratory Initiative, the Science Park Cooperation Initiative, and the Technology Transfer Initiative."

President Xi also used his speech to present a list of a half-dozen major policy steps China has undertaken as part of its Opening Up strategy, which read like some of the major components of the economic and trade deal being negotiated with President Trump.

"First, we will expand market access for foreign investment in more areas....

"Second, we will intensify efforts to enhance international cooperation in intellectual property protection....

"Third, we will increase the import of goods and services on an even larger scale. China has a vast potential for increasing consumption....

"Fourth, we will more effectively engage in international macro-economic policy coordination. A globalized economy calls for global governance. China will strengthen macro policy coordination with other major economies and keep the RMB exchange rate basically stable....

"Fifth, we will work harder to ensure the implementation of opening-up related policies."

Xi then touched upon what has reportedly been a central sticking point in the negotiations with the U.S.: "A binding mechanism for honoring international agreements will be put in place. Laws and regulations will be revised and improved in keeping with the need to expand opening-up."

China hopes that, in return "other countries" — ie., mainly the U.S. — "will also create an enabling environment of investment, treat Chinese enterprises, students and scholars as equals, and provide a fair and friendly environment for them to engage in international exchanges and cooperation."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

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