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Xi Chairs BRF Roundtable for ‘Boosting Connectivity for New Sources of Growth’

April 27, 2019 (EIRNS)—Today, on the concluding day of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing (BRF), President Xi Jinping chaired the Roundtable discussion among the 39 guests—37 heads of state and government plus the leaders of the IMF and United Nations. A joint communiqué has been issued, and the Chinese Foreign Ministry has also posted a summary of the “Deliverables” from the Forum.

Last evening, after a day of presentations, as well as sideline bilateral meetings, Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan hosted a welcome banquet for the national leaders. The cordial, but high-level tone of the deliberations April 25-27, was set in Xi’s keynote opening yesterday, when he happily welcomed everyone,

“Good morning! As a line of a classical Chinese poem goes, ‘Spring and autumn are lovely seasons in which friends get together to climb up mountains and write poems.’ On this beautiful spring day, it gives me great pleasure to have you with us here at the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF).”

Xi chaired today’s Roundtable, with Russian President Vladimir Putin seated to his right, and Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev to his left. Xi began his opening remarks by declaring the meeting is in the same venue as it was two years ago, but much progress has been made on the Belt and Road connectivity, and possibilities for new inputs to global growth are before us. He likened today’s gathering to how an architect seeks to refine his original blueprint, to make it better.

Xi presented much of what he said under three points. First, he spoke of integrating the BRI with the goals of the UN Agenda 2030 for world development, and aligning BRI activities with “accepted standards” for high quality. It should have a “result-oriented impetus,” including being clean and green.

Secondly, there should be work for “all around connectivity,” including among financial systems and people-to-people activity.

Thirdly, there should be “connection mechanisms” to “build an open world economy.” This means the BRI should be engaged in institution-building, in bilateral and multilateral ways among countries and among companies.