Building the BRI, the majority of countries vote with their feet: Global Times editorial
Published: Oct 16, 2023 11:52 PM Updated: Oct 16, 2023 11:49 PM
The streets of Beijing are decorated to welcome the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. Photo: VCG

The streets of Beijing are decorated to welcome the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. Photo: VCG

The highly anticipated third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) will be held in Beijing from October 17 to 18. Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, will attend the opening ceremony and deliver a keynote speech. So far, representatives from more than 140 countries and over 30 international organizations have confirmed their participation. This means nearly three-quarters of the countries around the world will be present. They themselves have voted with their feet for the reputation and achievements of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) over the past decade. It also reflects the expectations for the future of the BRI. Such extensive participation, with everyone coming together for common development, prosperity, and peace, once again proves that the BRI's strong vitality lies in its alignment with the desires and needs of the international community.

The theme of this forum is "High-quality Belt and Road Cooperation: Together for Common Development and Prosperity," which is a consistent and distinctive feature of the BRI - an initiative proposed by China, responded by the globe, and benefiting the world as a whole. The previous two BRFs not only provided participating parties with opportunities for in-depth exchanges and discussions but also directly led to numerous cooperative achievements. An international cooperation framework jointly building the BRI has been established, encompassing various levels, forms, and fields. We have reason to expect that this forum will fully demonstrate this aspect and achieve fruitful results on this basis. It is a collective achievement for all of humanity.

Especially in the current context of escalating regional conflicts and a widespread lack of confidence worldwide, having such a forum that seeks international cooperation, extensive consultation and joint contribution, and the participation of the majority of the world's nations is very precious and worth cherishing. China, as the host of the BRF, and all participants, have jointly sent a clear and powerful message to the world: peace, cooperation, openness, inclusivity, mutual learning, and mutual benefit are the aspirations of humanity and the right path for humankind. Despite significant differences or gaps in various aspects such as political systems, ideologies, historical cultures, and stages of social development among countries, peaceful development and common development remain a strong consensus in the international community. This message is especially significant in the present circumstances.

The US and the West have been highly vigilant toward the BRI, constantly pouring dirty water on and undermining it over the past decade. However, the ultimate result is that the circle of friends of the BRI is growing larger. By June 2023, China had signed more than 200 BRI cooperation agreements with more than 150 countries and 30 international organizations across five continents. The core concepts of extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits have been incorporated into important documents of international organizations and mechanisms such as the United Nations and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, gaining increasingly widespread recognition and response.

People have also noticed that major Western countries have started to emulate the BRI and launched large-scale international development plans with the intention of competing with it. This actually reflects the success of the BRI from another perspective. Here, we also hope that those countries with strong capabilities can learn from the spiritual core of the BRI, understand why it has been successful, and truly shift their focus from competition to win-win cooperation in order to replicate such success. It should be pointed out that the BRI has never been exclusive and also includes the US and the West. As long as we uphold the values of shared destiny, we welcome those projects to align with the BRI, creating greater synergy for the progress of human society.

The BRI is also a window for the world to understand China and its modernization. It vividly demonstrates how China has embarked on the path of modernization through peaceful development. From the development process and actual achievements of the past 10 years of jointly building the Belt and Road, the level of modernization of many participating countries has significantly improved, especially in China's neighboring countries in Central Asia and Southeast Asia. It can be said that the BRI has provided a new practice for human civilization, and more and more countries are participating in exploring a new path of modernization through deep international cooperation for mutual benefit and win-win results. In this sense, it is a great practice for human society to jointly explore the path of the future, and its influence will far exceed 10 years and may even transcend generations.

When China hosts an event, it has always emphasized the practical results. The spirit of hard work is also reflected throughout the entire process of jointly building the "Belt and Road." The initiative, from its inception to its growth, from its initial stages to its comprehensive implementation, demonstrates its inherent vitality and resilience, and has already formed an irreversible momentum. We wish the BRF a complete success and hope that the BRI cooperation will proceed steadily, paving a new bright path for the development of human civilization.