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Ambassador Wu Ken's Opening Speech at the "Connectivity in Eurasia – Belt and Road Dialogue Forum "
2019/11/15

Dear all envoys, experts, scholars and entrepreneurs,

ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

good afternoon!

Welcome to the Chinese Embassy in Germany to attend the "Connectivity in Eurasia - Belt and Road Dialogue Forum". This forum was initiated by our embassy and the Berlin Global Advisers. The purpose is to build an open communication platform for people from all walks of life who care about the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), to deliver the latest information on the development of the BRI, and to work together to promote the development of the BRI with a high-quality .

After nearly eight months in office, I deeply felt that all walks of life in Germany have a strong interest in the BRI. In the last month alone, I have attended a number of large-scale events with the theme of BRI. On these events, the main speakers are German officials, parliamentarians, scholars, and entrepreneurs. But there are very few Chinese voices besides me, and it is hard to hear the voice of the other countries who are deeply involved in the BRI.

In order to increase the information with valuable content through this forum, we have specially invited two well-known experts in the field of the BRI from China, Director Yin Wenquan, from the National Development and Reform Commission and Professor Xue Li, from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, who will bring you latest first-hand information of the BRI. And we specially invited the ambassadors of Pakistan and Belarus to share with us their experiences in participating in the construction of the BRI. We also welcome the representatives of the embassies of Kazakhstan, Russia and Greece. And of course, the perspectives of the German economic and academic circles are also indispensable. Professor Sandschneider, a Chinese expert at the Free University of Berlin, and Mr. Thomas König from the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, will introduce their observations and thoughts on the BRI.

Ladies and gentlemen,

In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed a major international cooperation initiative of the BRI. The purpose is to promote interconnection, to deepen pragmatic cooperation, to tap new impetus for world economic growth, and create a new platform for international economic cooperation. In the past six years, the BRI has transformed from the initiative into action, from vision into reality, and has received more and more international support and positive response. Up to now, China has signed 197 the BRI cooperation documents with 137 countries and 30 international organizations. The United Nations, the G20, and APEC have incorporated the BRI and its core concepts into the outcome document. The BRI has gained increasing international recognition, support and participation, I believe there are four main reasons:

First reason, the BRI is an open, transparent and inclusive economic cooperation initiative. Building the BRI is not a geopolitical strategy or a military alliance. It does not exclude anyone. It is an open and inclusive process. It is not to close the door to engage in small circles or "Chinese clubs"; it is China sharing opportunities with the world. It is the sunshine road for development and is not a so-called "trap". It does not demarcate by ideology. It does not engage in zero-sum games. As long as someone is willing to participate, China welcomes it.

Second reason, the BRI adheres to the golden rule of “extensive consultation, joint contribution and sharing benefits”. We need to act in the spirit of multilateralism, pursue cooperation through consultation and keep all participants motivated. We do link up with the international standards and international rules. We respect the laws and regulations of each country. We may, by engaging in bilateral, trilateral and multilateral cooperation, fully tap into the strengths of all participants. So that the cooperation is truly effective, and the results are truly benefit all.

Third reason, the BRI always focuses on the goal of promoting interconnection. The primary is the policy coordination, that is strengthening the synergy of development strategy of various countries. The second is the facilities connectivity, that is to improve the level of infrastructure such as transportation, energy and communications. The third is unimpeded trade, that is to promote trade liberalization and facilitation. The fourth is financial integration, to build a diversified, green and sustainable investment and financing system. Fifth, people-to-people bond, deepening exchanges in various fields such as culture, education, academics, and tourism, and bringing people's feelings closer to each other.

Fourth reason, the BRI brings tangible and fruitful results to all participating countries. In the past six years, China's trade with the BRI countries totaled 6.5 trillion US dollars, and direct investment exceeded US$90 billion. China has built 82 overseas cooperation zones with BRI countries, contributed to host countries by creating nearly 300,000 jobs. According to the World Bank study, the BRI will free 7.6 million people out of extreme poverty and 32 million out of moderate poverty. And the trade will increase between the participating countries by 2.8% to 9.7%, globally by 1.7% to 6.2%, and the global income will increase by 0.7% to 2.9%.

The changes brought by the BRI to the world have proved this conclusion from different dimensions time and time again: although the BRI originated in China, its opportunities and benefits belong to the world.

Ladies and gentlemen,

As the largest economy in Europe, Germany is an important partner in building the BRI. The Sino-German BRI cooperation started early, cooperated soundly and have bright prospects. Germany is a founding member of the AIIB and the largest extraterritorial investor. The China Railway Express to Europe have running more than 17,000 times, nearly 40% of them have traveled between China and Germany, and cities such as Duisburg and Hamburg have benefited a lot. Three days ago, Hafen Mukran on the island of Rügen held the first operating ceremony of the China Railway Express “Xi’an-Hamburg” international sea-rail combined transport line, marking the successful docking of the German-Russian sea route with the China Railway Express to Europe. It shows the vitality and attractiveness of the China Railway Express. It is believed that the broad third-party market along the BRI will provide a new stage for Sino-German cooperation in economic and trade development. I hope that the entrepreneurs present here will seize the policy dividends and investment opportunities released by the BRI, further tap the potential of cooperation, and work together to make the BRI an opportunity and a road to prosperity for mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Germany.

Last week, President Xi Jinping in his speech at the opening ceremony of the 2nd China International Import Expo has emphasized that China will follow the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits, the philosophy of open, green, and clean cooperation, and a high-standard, people-centered, and sustainable approach to promote high-quality BRI cooperation. Facing the future, it is clear, that Sustainability and high standards will be the vitality of the BRI. In the process of economic development, China is reluctant to take the old road of “first pollution and then governance” and will attach great importance to ecological harmony and environmental protection. The BRI will be more green. Germany's green innovation and sustainable development experience, technology and products will be of great value in the BRI.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Our world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century, and the international situation is unstable. The situation of withdrawals and flip-flops has occurred one after another, and bullying and blackmail are often seen. Protectionism and unilateralism are threatening the foundation of global free trade, and all economies are facing downward pressure. Many people are confused facing these profound and huge changes, and many countries are looking for new motive force of economic growth. China firmly believes that self-isolation will only miss development opportunities, and open cooperation is the way comply with the trend of the times. Through the BRI, China will continue to promote a higher level of opening up to the outside world, providing more market opportunities, investment opportunities and growth opportunities for all countries. At the same time, we will work together to build an open and cooperative world economy and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

There is a Chinese saying, "Originally there is no path in this world, but when there are many who have walked upon it, then a path came into being." We firmly believe that on the journey of the BRI, all parties will participate in the spirit of the Silk Road and cooperate with each other. Our partners will be more and more, and the BRI will become the sunshine road that leads the countries to common development and prosperity. I look forward to discussing with you freely in today's forum. We will build consensus, and jointly create a bright future for the BRI! Thank you!

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