Fruitful Forum Takes Belt and Road to Next Level

China’s Belt and Road Initiative Offers Opportunity, Bodes Well for Future Successes

(By Du Mingming. Renmin Ribao (人民网, People’s Daily Online), May 16, 2017. http://en.people.cn/n3/2017/0516/c90000 - 9216452.html. Complete text:) The two-day Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation concluded on May 15 in Beijing. A total of 68 nations and international organizations signed cooperation agreements with China over the course of the event. The forum also led to more than 270 outcomes and a joint communique.

During the past two days, the People’s Daily Online interviewed many people at the forum, including officials, scholars, entrepreneurs, NGO leaders and media figures. The below summaries are based on abstracts from several interviewees, sharing their understanding of the initiative, commenting on the forum and describing their expectations for future actions.

The initiative was significant and bold.

The Belt and Road Initiative is not China’s Marshall Plan, but rather a "long-term economic project to promote communication and cooperation, and to benefit, together, all of us," said Jing Huang, director of the Centre on Asia and Globalization at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at Singapore National University. He stressed that the purpose of the Belt and Road Initiative is to promote joint development and globalization.

Huang pointed out that Chinese President Xi Jinping has laid out a fundamentally peace-oriented approach for China’s foreign policy. It "not only gives us a very good, clear description of what to do in terms of foreign policy, but also make a great contribution to international relations theories," Huang said.

Peter Drysdale, a professor at the College of Asia and Pacific at Australian National University, told the People’s Daily Online that the Belt and Road Initiative offers a huge opportunity. He pointed out that the initiative is China’s "boldest attempt yet to spell out the way it might engage with the world, seeking more certainty ...

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