The 2021 Annual Conference of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) opened on April 20, with Chinese President Xi Jinping delivering a keynote speech via video link at the opening ceremony. In his speech, Xi called on all to pursue discussion on an equal footing to create a future of shared benefits, pursue openness and innovation to create a future of development and prosperity, pursue solidarity and cooperation to create a future of health and security, and fulfill their commitment to justice to create a future of mutual respect and learning.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the BFA. As a platform for the promotion of economic integration across Asia and a collection of positive energy for the development of Asia and the world at large, the BFA has exerted its influence and today has become an important driving force behind progress.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced a lingering sense of instability and uncertainty, arousing political sentiments such as protectionism and populism which in turn can endanger the quest for global peace and development. In this context, the call for upholding multilateralism and strengthening communication and coordination is becoming louder. The international community needs to pull together in times of difficulty.
Xi's speech is a statement from China to the world, reiterating the country's position: China will continue to be a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, and a defender of international order.
China will continue to lend its anti-COVID-19 support to the World Health Organization and other countries, and honor its commitments to making vaccines a public good worldwide. China will never seek to dominate, expand or forge a sphere of influence, no matter how strong it may grow. Nor will China ever engage in an arms race. Moreover, the nation will maintain an active part in the multilateral cooperation on trade and investment.
The world now, more than ever, needs dialogue and exchange. Nations must come together to tackle even more challenges that loom ahead. In the words of President Xi, as long as we pool our efforts and keep moving in the right direction, the giant vessel of human development will stay on an even keel and sail toward a brighter future. BR