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Foundations of the Road
Xi's keynote speech at the Belt and Road Forum highlights three types of power
By Fang Zhenghui | NO. 21 MAY 25, 2017

President Xi Jinping's keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation on May 14 offers a profound view on the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road (Belt and Road) Initiative from the perspectives of history and reality, and vision and action, as well as involving mind and matter. It is undoubtedly full of inspiration and power.

The speech demonstrates the power of conviction, the kernel of the Silk Road spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning, and mutual benefit. Throughout history, our forefathers kept moving forward regardless of facing billowing waves, rugged mountains and endless deserts. With the same conviction to which they steadfastly adhered in building a road of peace, prosperity, openness, innovation and civilization, we have taken solid steps to implement the Belt and Road Initiative and achieved significant achievements over the past four years. Both history and reality show that, with common conviction, we can develop a shared vision and forge strong synergy.

The speech emphasizes the power of culture in the pursuit of the Belt and Road Initiative. Culture builds bridges of mutual understanding between the peoples of different countries. No matter how diverse the cultures, they share common features. The Silk Road spirit encompasses not only cultural integration drawn from our history, but also people's aspiration for cultural exchanges today, spurring us to pursue the initiative.

The speech presents China's image as a responsible major country and displays the power of responsibility. China has made great efforts to enhance policy consultation, trade promotion, infrastructure connectivity, financial cooperation and people-to-people exchanges among countries along the Belt and Road routes since the initiative was proposed. At the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, President Xi introduced new programs to further implement the initiative. This consolidates China's image as a responsible major country, translating vision into action, and initiatives into commitments; this, in turn, bolsters the confidence of the countries involved and the international community in general in promoting the initiative.

Guiding Principles for the Belt and Road Initiative

A road for peace

The pursuit of the Belt and Road Initiative requires a peaceful and stable environment. We should foster a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation; and we should forge partnerships of dialogue with no confrontation and of friendship rather than alliance. All countries should respect each other's sovereignty, dignity and territorial integrity, each other's development paths and social systems, and each other's core interests and major concerns.

A road of prosperity

Development holds the master key to solving all problems. In pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative, we should focus on the fundamental issue of development, release the growth potential of various countries, achieve economic integration and interconnected development and deliver benefits to all.

A road of opening up

We should build an open platform of cooperation and uphold and grow an open world economy. We should jointly create an environment that will facilitate opening up and development, establish a fair, equitable and transparent system of international trade and investment rules and boost the orderly flow of production factors, efficient resources allocation and full market integration.

A road of innovation

We should pursue innovation-driven development and intensify cooperation in frontier areas such as digital economy, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and quantum computing, and advance the development of big data, cloud computing and smart cities so as to turn them into a digital silk road of the 21st century. We should spur the full integration of science and technology into industries and finance, improve the environment for innovation and pool resources for innovation.

A road connecting different civilizations

In pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative, we should ensure that when it comes to different civilizations, exchange will replace estrangement, mutual learning will replace clashes, and coexistence will replace a sense of superiority. This will boost mutual understanding, mutual respect and mutual trust among different countries.

(Source: President Xi Jinping's speech at the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation)

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