President vows to boost openness and development as initiative implemented
President Xi Jinping pledged on Wednesday to boost openness and development under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative amid the country's efforts to provide a valuable public service to the world.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remark during an inspection tour in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. The region is an important outlet for China's maritime trade with Southeast Asian countries.
The Belt and Road Initiative has been widely recognized in the international community since it was put forward in 2013, showing that it is in accord with the will of the people, Xi said while visiting the Port of Tieshan in Beihai.
The inspection took place a day after the Foreign Ministry announced Xi will attend the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in mid-May and deliver the keynote speech.
The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, put forward by Xi, aim to revive ancient trade routes and boost the interconnection between Asia and the rest of the world.
"We will promote China's great opening-up and development under the Belt and Road framework," Xi said, pledging more efforts to achieve the goal of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and fulfillment of the Chinese Dream.
The president asked local authorities about the construction plans for the port and the development plan of the entire Beibu Gulf, as well as its opening to and cooperation with ASEAN countries.
Before inspecting the port, Xi paid a visit to the Hepu Han Dynasty Museum, which is exhibiting a collection of relics related to the ancient trade on the maritime route. The relics on display show that China had already opened maritime trade routes to India and Sri Lanka 2,000 years ago.
Xi held talks with the workers at the port and told them that both the museum and the port he had visited had important links with the Belt and Road Initiative.
Mentioning that Beihai played a role in the ancient maritime Silk Road, Xi told the workers to be dedicated to the implementation of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
Xi told authorities to do a good job building port infrastructure on the Beibu Gulf and developing the maritime economy. "We often say you'd better build roads first to become rich, but in the coastal areas you have to build ports first," he said.
The Belt and Road Initiative is the most important public good that China has provided to the world, Foreign Minister Wang Yi told a news conference on Tuesday. "It was initiated by China, but shared by other countries."
Wang Yiwei, a professor of international relations at Renmin University of China, said that the Belt and Road Initiative will promote inclusive economic growth since it can benefit both developed and developing countries.
The initiative will be helpful in stabilizing the global economy since it can meet the demand of countries along the routes to push forward industrialization and infrastructure construction, he said.