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Chinese Ambassador to Canada Lu Shaye published a signed article on Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation
2017/06/14

 
On June 14, The Hill Times published a signed article by H.E. Mr. Lu Shaye, China’s Ambassador to Canada, interpreting the rich achievements of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, and calling on Canada to actively support and participate in the Belt and Road construction. The full text is as follows.

Last month, China successfully held the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing. Twenty-nine foreign heads of state and government leaders attended the forum as well as more than 1,500 representatives from over 130 countries, including Canada, and over 70 international organizations.

The forum sent positive signals to the international community to jointly promote the Belt and Road construction and strive to boost international cooperation.

The Belt and Road is the abbreviation for the “Silk Road Economic Belt” and the “21stCentury Maritime Silk Road.” The goal is to synergize the national policies and development strategies of all countries, deepen practical cooperation, promote coordinated and interconnected development, and achieve common prosperity. The priorities of cooperation are: policy communication, infrastructure connectivity, unimpeded trade, capital flows, and people-to-people bonds.

The Belt and Road initiative draws wisdom and strength from the ancient Silk Road and promotes cooperation in that spirit to support peace, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning, and mutual benefit. It is a public international product provided by China to push for global economic growth in the new era.

Since the initiative was first proposed, over 100 countries and international organizations—guided by the principle of wide consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits—have actively participated in and supported the Belt and Road construction, achieving a fruitful early harvest. A batch of major infrastructure projects such as railways, ports, and pipe networks is now under construction.

Total trade between China and other Belt and Road countries has exceeded US$3-trillion and China’s investment in these countries has surpassed US$50-billion. Chinese companies have set up 56 economic cooperation zones in over 20 countries, generating some US$1.1-billion in tax revenue and 180,000 local jobs. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has offered a loan of US$1.7-billion for the Belt and Road construction, and China’s Silk Road Fund has invested a total US$4-billion.

From vision and plan to actions and reality, the Belt and Road initiative has attracted an increasing number of participants. At last month’s forum in Beijing, the participating countries further clarified the direction for future cooperation, worked out a clear road map of the construction, confirmed the major areas and routes, and identified major projects in the next phase. At this forum, China also put forward many new measures for cooperation, such as an additional 100-billion renminbi (about CDN$19-billion) to the Silk Road Fund, and 380-billion renminbi (about CDN$75-billion) in special lending schemes for infrastructure.

Although the Belt and Road initiative was first proposed by China, its construction belongs to the world. It serves as a major driving force for world economic growth in the next period of time and provides a huge market for countries around the world.

Canada is one of the major countries in the Asia-Pacific region. It boasts advantages in many areas such as transportation, communication, clean energy, financial services, and talent training.

Canada could absolutely be an important participant, contributor, and beneficiary of the Belt and Road construction. Canada has joined the AIIB, which makes for good conditions for Canada to participate in the Belt and Road infrastructure construction. It is hoped that Canada could enhance policy coordination with Belt and Road countries, and seek specific areas and projects that it can take part in as soon as possible so as to gain early achievements through early participation.

The government of British Columbia signed the Belt and Road cooperation documents with China’s Guangdong provincial government last year. We hope that the two local governments will take quick actions and actively participate in the construction.

China is also willing to cooperate with Canada to jointly explore the third-party markets under the Belt and Road initiative. The initiative responds to the trend of the times, conforms to the law of development, and meets the people’s interests. It surely has broad prospects. I hope Canada will not miss any important opportunities for cooperation.

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