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Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Yao Wen Publishes an Op-ed Titled “BRF 2023: Concerted Commitment for an Open, Inclusive and Interconnected World”

(From Chinese Embassy in Bangladesh)

2023-10-22 17:21

On October 22, 2023, The Daily Sun published an op-ed authored by Ambassador Yao Wen titled BRF 2023: Concerted Commitment for an Open, Inclusive and Interconnected World. The full text of the article is as follows:

The just-concluded 3rd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) was of a great success. A total of more than 10,000 representatives from 151 countries and 41 international organizations took part in the Forum. Once again, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) demonstrated its tremendous appeal and global influence. Over the past decade, the BRI has benefited more than 150 countries and opened up a road of cooperation, opportunity and prosperity leading to common development. The BRI has become the world's most popular international public goods and the largest international cooperation platform.

In his keynote speech, Chinese President Xi Jinping reviewed the historic achievements and successful experience of BRI over the past 10 years. He underscored that the Belt and Road cooperation is on the right side of history. It represents the advancing of our times and the right path forward. The BRI adheres to the principle of consultation and cooperation for shared benefits, and transcends the differences in civilizations, cultures, social systems and stages of development. It has opened up a new path for exchanges among countries, and established a new framework for international cooperation. It represents humanity’s joint pursuit of development for all. What has been achieved over the past decade leads to a profound realization that humankind is an interdependent community of shared destiny. China can only do well when the world is doing well. When China does well, the world will get even better. Only through win-win cooperation can we achieve success. The Silk Road spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit is the most important source of strength for the Belt and Road cooperation. President Xi Jinping announced eight major actions, emphasizing that China is willing to deepen partnership with all parties under the BRI, promote the initiative to a new stage of high-quality development, and make unremitting efforts to realize the modernization of all countries around the world.

The most unequivocal message from this Forum is unity, cooperation, openness and win-win outcome. The Forum has sent an unequivocal signal to the world that we need unity, cooperation, openness and win-win outcomes instead of division, confrontation, isolation or zero-sum mentality. Amidst great transformations unseen in a century, the Belt and Road cooperation always brings stability and hope to the world.

The most important consensus achieved by this Forum is to usher in a new stage of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. We intend to build high-quality, sustainable and resilient infrastructure and construct an open world economy. We would accelerate the construction of the "Digital Silk Road" and promote the healthy, orderly and safe development of AI. We will deepen the cultivation of the "Green Silk Road" with the establishment of investment and financing partnerships. In the next five years, China’s total trade in goods and services is expected to exceed USD 32 trillion and USD 5 trillion respectively.

The most ambitious vision arose from this Forum is to jointly modernize the world. Achieving modernization is the common aspiration and due right of all peoples. President Xi Jinping proposed for the first time that global modernization should be pursued through joint efforts by all countries to enhance peaceful development and mutually beneficial cooperation and bring prosperity to all. The people of the world joining hands to realize modernization together will be the most spectacular picture in the history of mankind.

The most distinctive feature of this Forum is its action-oriented efficiency and pragmatism. The Belt and Road cooperation involves not only the consolidation of cooperative ideas, but also the adoption of practical actions. President Xi Jinping has announced major initiatives to build a multidimensional Belt and Road connectivity network, promote green development, and boost scientific and technological innovation. China will promote both signature projects and “small yet smart” livelihood programs. The China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China will each set up a RMB 350 billion financing window. An additional RMB 80 billion will be injected into the Silk Road Fund. Together, they will support BRI projects on the basis of market and business operation.

During the Forum, a total of 458 outcomes were formed, including important cooperation initiatives and institutional arrangements such as the Beijing Initiative on Deepening Connectivity Cooperation, the Beijing Initiative on Green Development of the BRI, the Beijing Initiative on International Cooperation in the Digital Economy of the BRI, as well as specific targets such as conducting 100,000 green development trainings for partner countries by 2030 and expanding joint laboratories to 100. The Entrepreneurs' Conference also resulted in $97.2 billion in commercial contracts, which will help create more job and growth opportunities for all countries. This series of tangible results of cooperation is a vote of support and trust for the BRI by all parties attending the Forum. Instead of highbrow orators, the Belt and Road cooperation would rather be down-to-earth doers, providing a constant impetus to the growth of the world economy and the common development of the globe.

On the journey of Belt and Road cooperation, China and Bangladesh have always been good friends with mutual trust and good partners in seeking common development. In 2016, President Xi Jinping paid a historic visit to Bangladesh, where he and the Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced the opening of a new era of China-Bangladesh Belt and Road cooperation. Since then, China and Bangladesh have sowed the seeds of hope, which have sprouted and blossomed under the hard work and care of the two peoples.

Over the past seven years, we have built 12 highways, 21 bridges and 27 power and energy projects in Bangladesh, contributing to turn the dreams of the Bangladeshi people into reality. The Dasherkandi Sewage Treatment Plant and the first section of the Dhaka Elevated Expressway have been completed. Recently, the first section of the Padma Bridge rail link was opened. In a few days, the Bangabandhu Tunnel under the Karnaphuli River will be opened to traffic.

Over the past seven years, the stock of Chinese investment in Bangladesh has grown from USD 241 million to nearly USD 1.4 billion. At present, there are more than 670 Chinese enterprises operating in Bangladesh. These enterprises are active practitioners deeply cultivating in Bangladesh. They assume social responsibilities in Bangladesh and make significant contributions to economic development, environmental protection, community services, public welfare and charity by creating more than 550,000 jobs in Bangladesh.

Over the past seven years, China and Bangladesh have deepened cultural exchanges. The hearts of the two peoples are getting closer and closer. A number of touching stories have passed on our thousand-year-old friendship. In the sub-forum of people-to-people connection, Alifa Chin, a 13-year-old Bangladeshi girl, told her story which touched everyone present. Dr. Dipu Moni, the Honorable Minister of Education, encouraged the youth of the two countries while attending this forum to strengthen exchanges and be envoys of Bangladesh-China friendship.

The Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina spoke highly of the BRI that it has opened a new door for Bangladesh's development. On the journey of Bangladesh's modernization, the BRI is the most compatible and befitting development cooperation initiative with Vision 2041 and Smart Bangladesh. China stands ready to work with Bangladesh to deepen integration of strategies, tighten the ties of cooperation, and embrace a new stage of Belt and Road cooperation of higher quality at higher level, so that the two peoples would enjoy a greater sense of achievement and happiness, and work together to realize the dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the dream of "Sonar Bangla"!

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