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Wang Yi Commemorates 8th Anniversary of BRI, Describes President Xi’s ‘Global Development Initiative’

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EIRNS—On Dec. 17 Wang Yi, state councilor and Foreign Minister of China, addressed the international Advisory Council of the Belt and Road Forum via videoconference. [He reported on four main achievements of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and outlined four areas of immediate action. Referring to the BRI as “the world’s largest platform for international cooperation”—145 nations are now members, including 7 new members this year—he said that the recent focus has been “efforts to fight the pandemic and protect people’s well being.”

He summarized recent past achievements in 4 areas: 1) major completed infrastructure projects in Africa, southeast Asia, west Asia and Africa, combined with trade volume up 23% and Chinese investment up 14.6% in the first 10 months of this year, 2) increased investment in “green and low-carbon development,” 3) building “a Great Wall against COVID-19” with China’s providing nearly 2 billion doses of vaccines to over 120 countries, and building, in 19 other developing countries, joint vaccine production with an initial capacity for over 1 billion doses annually, and 4) an increased array of recent conferences and consultations within the BRI: it “has never been a geopolitical strategy,” but rather a road to accelerate the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Foreign Minister Wang outlined 4 areas of new focus for the BRI, as follows: 1) “a people-centered philosophy,” providing another 1 billion doses of COVID vaccines to Africa, donating an additional 150 million doses to ASEAN countries, and expanded joint vaccine production facilities in developing countries “for an early victory over COVID-19,” 2) a call for new members of the BRI, prescribing that new BRI initiatives and investments are to be judged as worthy only if they put economic “development first,” 3) “green development… digital technology… 5G, big data and cross border e-commerce,” and 4) importantly, helping

“especially the least developed [countries] in their efforts to reduce poverty… make the BRI a pathway to poverty alleviation for developing countries… [a] new development paradigm.” The Global Development Initiative (GDI) proposed by President Xi at the UN General Assembly in September, 2021—which outlines 8 areas of international economic cooperation—can “generate greater synergy for advancing common development.”

FM Wang’s full address may be found here:
Remarks by State Councilor Wang Yi ​At the Meeting of the Advisory Council of The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation 2021 [rab]