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Xi Jinping Attends the Opening Ceremony of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) and Delivers a Keynote Speech

2019-04-26

On April 26, 2019, President Xi Jinping attended the opening ceremony of the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) at the China National Convention Center in Beijing and delivered a keynote speech themed with "Working Together to Deliver a Brighter Future for Belt and Road Cooperation". He stressed that Belt and Road cooperation has both generated new opportunities for the development of all participating countries and opened up new horizon for China's development and opening-up. Going ahead, we need to be guided by the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. We need to pursue open, green and clean cooperation. We need to pursue high-standard cooperation to improve people's lives and promote sustainable development. This is how we can jointly promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.

Xi Jinping announced that China will take a series of major reform and opening-up measures to boost higher quality opening-up. We will expand market access for foreign investment in more areas, intensify efforts to enhance international cooperation in intellectual property protection, increase the import of goods and services on an even larger scale, more effectively engage in international macro-economic policy coordination and work harder to ensure the implementation of opening-up related policies.

Vice Premier Han Zheng presided over the opening ceremony.

At around 9:35 a.m., Xi Jinping and foreign leaders attending the opening ceremony entered the venue. The attendees stood up and warmly welcomed them. Han Zheng announced the opening of the second BRF.

Amid enthusiastic applause, Xi Jinping stepped onto the rostrum and delivered a keynote speech. Xi Jinping pointed out that two years ago, it was here that we met for the first BRF, where we drew a blueprint of cooperation to enhance policy, infrastructure, trade, financial and people-to-people connectivity. Today, we are once again meeting here with you, friends from across the world. I look forward to creating an even brighter future for Belt and Road cooperation together with you.

Xi Jinping emphasized that the joint pursuit of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) aims to enhance connectivity and practical cooperation. It is about jointly meeting various challenges and risks confronting mankind and delivering win-win outcomes and common development. Thanks to the joint efforts of all of us involved in this initiative, the decisions of the first BRF have been smoothly implemented. More than 150 countries and international organizations have signed agreements on Belt and Road cooperation with China. From the Eurasian continent to Africa, the Americas and Oceania, Belt and Road cooperation has opened up new space for global economic growth, produced new platforms for international trade and investment and offered new ways for improving global economic governance. Indeed, this initiative has helped improve people's lives in countries involved and created more opportunities for common prosperity.

Xi Jinping pointed out that the Belt and Road cooperation embraces the historical trend of economic globalization, responds to the call for improving the global governance system and meets people's longing for a better life. Going ahead, we should focus on priorities and project execution, move forward with results-oriented implementation, just like an architect refining the blueprint, and jointly promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. We need to be guided by the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. We need to act in the spirit of multilateralism. We may engage in bilateral, trilateral and multilateral cooperation, just as a Chinese proverb says, "A tower is built when soil on earth accumulates, and a river is formed when streams come together." We need to pursue open, green and clean cooperation. The Belt and Road is not an exclusive club. We may launch green infrastructure projects, make green investment and provide green financing. In pursuing Belt and Road cooperation, everything should be done in a transparent way. We should have the commitment to transparency and clean governance in pursuing Belt and Road cooperation. We need to pursue high-standard cooperation to improve people's lives and promote sustainable development. We will adopt widely accepted rules and standards. The laws and regulations of participating countries should also be respected. We need to take a people-centered approach, give priority to poverty alleviation and job creation to see that the joint pursuit of Belt and Road cooperation will deliver true benefits to the people of participating countries. We also need to ensure the commercial and fiscal sustainability of all projects.

Xi Jinping emphasized that connectivity is vital to advancing Belt and Road cooperation. We need to promote a global partnership of connectivity to achieve common development and prosperity. To this end, China will continue to work with other parties to build a connectivity network centering on economic corridors such as the New Eurasian Land Bridge, supplemented by major transportation routes like the China-Europe Railway Express and the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor and information expressway, and reinforced by major railway, port and pipeline projects. We welcome the participation of multilateral and national financial institutions in BRI investment and financing. With the involvement of multiple stakeholders, we can surely deliver benefits to all. We need to promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, say no to protectionism, and make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all. In addition, the Second China International Import Expo will be held this year to build an even bigger platform for other parties to access the Chinese market. We need to keep up with the trend of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, foster new growth drivers and explore new development pathways, build the digital Silk Road and the Silk Road of innovation, and continue to carry out the Belt and Road Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation Action Plan. We need to strengthen international development cooperation so as to create more opportunities for developing countries, help them eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development. We need to build bridges for exchanges and mutual learning among different cultures, deepen people-to-people and cultural cooperation in various areas, and facilitate multi-faceted people-to-people exchanges.

Xi Jinping stressed that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Over the past seven decades, we in China have, based on its realities, constantly explored the way forward through practices, and have succeeded in following the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. As China has reached a new historical starting point, we will continue to advance along the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, deepen sweeping reforms, pursue quality development, and expand opening-up. We remain committed to peaceful development and will endeavor to build a community with a shared future for mankind.

Xi Jinping announced that China will take a series of major reform and opening-up measures and make stronger institutional and structural moves to boost higher quality opening-up.

First, we will expand market access for foreign investment in more areas. China has already adopted a management model based on pre-establishment national treatment and negative list, and will continue to significantly shorten the negative list. We will work for the all-round opening-up of modern services, manufacturing, and agriculture, and will allow the operation of foreign-controlled or wholly foreign-owned businesses in more sectors. We will plan new pilot free trade zones and explore at a faster pace the opening of a free trade port. We will accelerate the adoption of supporting regulations to ensure full implementation of the Foreign Investment Law. We will promote supply-side structural reform through fair competition and open cooperation, and will phase out backward and excessive production capacity in an effective way to improve the quality and efficiency of supply.

Second, we will intensify efforts to enhance international cooperation in intellectual property protection. China will spare no effort to foster a business environment that respects the value of knowledge. We will fully improve the legal framework for protecting intellectual property, step up law enforcement, enhance protection of the lawful rights and interests of foreign intellectual property owners, stop forced technology transfer, improve protection of trade secrets, and crack down hard on violations of intellectual property in accordance with law. China will strengthen cooperation with other countries in intellectual property protection, create an enabling environment for innovation and promote technological exchanges and cooperation with other countries on the basis of market principles and the rule of law.

Third, we will increase the import of goods and services on an even larger scale. We will further lower tariffs and remove various non-tariff barriers and welcome quality products from across the world. We want to import more competitive quality agricultural products, manufactured goods and services to promote balanced trade.

Fourth, we will more effectively engage in international macro-economic policy coordination. China will strengthen macro policy coordination with other major economies and jointly contribute to robust, sustainable, balanced and inclusive global growth. China will not resort to the beggar-thy-neighbor practice of RMB devaluation. On the contrary, we will continue to improve the exchange rate regime, see that the market plays a decisive role in resource allocation and keep the RMB exchange rate basically stable at an adaptive and equilibrium level. China is an active supporter and participant of WTO reform and will work with others to develop international economic and trade rules of higher standards.

Fifth, we will work harder to ensure the implementation of opening-up related policies. We are committed to implementing multilateral and bilateral economic and trade agreements reached with other countries. We will strengthen the building of a government based on the rule of law and good faith. A binding mechanism for honoring international agreements will be put in place. Laws and regulations will be revised and improved in keeping with the need to expand opening-up. We will see that governments at all levels operate in a well-regulated way when it comes to issuing administrative licenses and conducting market oversight. We will overhaul and abolish unjustified regulations, subsidies and practices that impede fair competition and distort the market. We will treat all enterprises and business entities equally, and foster an enabling business environment based on market operation and governed by law.

Xi Jinping stressed that these measures to expand opening-up are a choice China has made by itself to advance its reform and development. It will promote high-quality economic development, meet the people's desire for a better life, and contribute to world peace, stability, and development. We hope that other countries will also create an enabling environment of investment, treat Chinese enterprises, students and scholars as equals, and provide a fair and friendly environment for them to engage in international exchanges and cooperation. We are convinced that a more open China will further integrate itself into the world and deliver greater progress and prosperity for both China and the world at large. Let us join hands to sow the seeds of cooperation, harvest the fruits of development, bring greater happiness to our people and make our world a better place for all!

At the opening ceremony, President Vladimir Putin of Russia, the first President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt, President Sebastián Pinera of Chile, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia, Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan, and Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) António Guterres delivered their speeches as well. They congratulated the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, praised China's great achievements in reform and development, and appreciated the Chinese side for holding the second BRF. They said that the joint pursuit of the BRI has enabled various countries to deepen their cooperation with China and promote regional and global economic integration. Since the initiative was proposed by President Xi Jinping more than five years ago, the early harvest from pursuing cooperation under the BRI has benefited the connectivity of the area along the route, enhanced mutual understanding and friendship among people of all countries, and promoted world economic growth and prosperity, which is of great significance to global poverty eradication and mitigation of uneven development. The Belt and Road has become a road to stability, development and prosperity. They spoke highly of China's further measures of reform and opening-up, announced by President Xi Jinping just now. At a time when the world is facing challenges of protectionism, China has insisted on comprehensively deepening reforms and further expanding opening-up. Such gesture demonstrates China's firm confidence in its own economic growth, shows the image of China as a responsible major country, and brings greater opportunities for the development of all countries. All parties are willing to continue to actively support and participate in the joint pursuit of the cooperation under the BRI in hope of enhancing the alignment of development strategies and deepening practical cooperation in various fields, so as to work together to build an open global economy and a community with a shared future for mankind.

Ding Xuexiang, Yang Jiechi, Hu Chunhua, Huang Kunming, Cai Qi, Wang Yi, Xiao Jie, Zhao Kezhi, He Lifeng and others attended the opening ceremony.

The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation is the highest-level platform for international cooperation within the framework of the BRI. Themed with "Working Together to Deliver a Brighter Future for Belt and Road Cooperation", the forum consists of a series of activities including the opening ceremony, the leaders' roundtable, the high-level meeting, the thematic forums, and the entrepreneurial conference. Nearly 5,000 foreign guests from more than 150 countries and more than 90 international organizations attended the second BRF.

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