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Xi Jinping Tells SPIEF Plenary, Belt and Road Initiative To Address the Crisis of a Century

June 8 , 2019 (EIRNS)—Speaking at the Plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 7, President Xi Jinping opened by saying that the world is facing “profound changes unseen in a century,” and that “China stands ready to make joint efforts with the international community to create an open and pluralistic world economy, a happy society that is inclusive and benefits all, and a beautiful homeland with harmonious coexistence between humanity and nature, and explore a new path of sustainable development,” reported Xinhua.

Xi said when he announced the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, the concept was intended to advance “win-win cooperation and common development among countries,” and that the BRI was “highly compatible with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in terms of goals, principles and implementation approaches, has received positive response and support from the international community.” He further stated that the Belt and Road “shares a similar philosophy with the Greater Eurasian Partnership proposed by President Putin,” and that the two initiatives can “support each other, facilitate each other and advance together to forcefully promote regional economic integration and realize common sustainable development.”

Indirectly referring to the attack on Huawei, Xi said that China “is willing to share with the rest of the world its latest research and development results, including the 5G technology so as to jointly cultivate new core competitiveness.”

On the environment, he focused on cleaning up actual pollution:

“China will uphold the concept that clear waters and green mountains are as valuable as mountains of gold and silver, strive to win the battles against air, water and soil pollution, encourage the development of green industries and renewable energy, and promote economical use and recycling of resources.”

He addressed the global tension as follows:

“Unprecedented inadaptation and asymmetry are emerging between the global governance system and the changes of the international situation, as emerging-market economies and developing countries are rising at an unprecedentedly high speed, and the new round of technological and industrial revolution is leading to unprecedentedly fierce competition. As the world is standing at a crossroads of history again, pooling wisdom and efforts of everyone to cooperate and achieve win-win outcomes is the right choice to address changes in the world.”

He called sustainable development the “golden key” to solving global problems.

In the discussion following his speech, he said that “the few anti-globalization movements that have emerged in the world cannot stop the tide of globalization. We should not fear problems in globalization,” and stating that “countries should not resort to protectionism and unilateralism, nor should they adopt a selfish beggar-thy-neighbor approach.” He said, as his host, Russian President Vladimir Putin also said in his presentation, that the world should “firmly uphold the multilateral trading system, and that instead of starting something entirely new, we should improve the existing international system.” It is to be hoped, when Presidents Donald Trump, Putin and Xi meet on the sidelines of the G20 in Osaka on June 28-29, that they do, in fact, discuss “something entirely new” rather than simply reforming the British Imperial institutions running the world today.

Xi depicted his notion of such “improvement”: “On the basis of fairness and equality, we should enhance the representation and voice of emerging-market countries and developing countries in multilateral institutions to make the governance structure and benefit distribution more balanced and reasonable.”

He said that “China is committed to being a builder of the international community, not a destroyer, and being a bridge-builder rather than a trench-digger.” He further declared that “China is committed to expanding the circle of friends,” that China and Russia are comprehensive strategic partners, and that “China has also become a partner with Asian, European Union, African, Latin American and South Pacific countries.” In the last six years, he said, the BRI

“has won positive response and support from across the world, and the scope of the participants has far exceeded that of the Belt and Road countries in history, fully demonstrating that this initiative has strong cohesiveness and is not China’s wishful thinking. The Belt and Road Initiative stresses the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and is by no means a contemporary Marshall Plan as some people have claimed. Neither is the initiative a so-called Chinese colonial plan,”

Xi said, pointing out that China has no history of colonizing other countries.

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