Wang Yi: China is Willing to Align the Belt and Road Initiative, an Open Platform, with Other Connectivity Initiatives

On October 18, 2023, as the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation came to a conclusion, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a press conference for Chinese and foreign media at the press center of the Forum, introducing the important outcomes of the Forum and answering questions.

When asked by a journalist how he views the relationship between the Belt and Road Initiative and the relevant initiative mechanisms of other countries, Wang Yi said that infrastructure is indispensable for promoting economic growth and improving people's livelihood. The saying "To get rich, build roads" is simple but carries profound wisdom. Belt and Road cooperation focuses on enhancing connectivity, expanding from physical connectivity to institutional connectivity, so as to achieve people-to-people connectivity. Accelerating infrastructure development is an urgent demand of developing countries and reflects the common aspiration of the international community. It has also made the Belt and Road Initiative welcomed and appreciated by more and more countries. This is a testament to the vital vitality of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Wang Yi said, "We have noted that some countries have also launched international initiatives on connectivity." China's Belt and Road Initiative is an open platform and all parties are welcome to take part in it at any time. At the same time, China hopes that the connectivity initiatives of other countries will also be open and refrain from creating exclusive cliques. China is ready to coordinate with all connectivity initiatives and jointly explore cooperation beneficial to developing countries. For example, the Belt and Road Initiative can be aligned with the Global Gateway strategy proposed by the European Union, so as to leverage their respective strengths and form synergy to help developing countries speed up infrastructure development.

Wang Yi said, some people claimed that the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment launched by the United States is targeted at China's Belt and Road Initiative. Wang Yi considered this claim as another example of politicizing economic issues. It is short-sighted and negative and will not be recognized by the international community. One should not politicize everything and avoid falling into the trap of political paranoia. Some suggest competition, and China is willing to consider this perspective positively. But competition should not involve canceling each other out; it should be about mutual promotion. Wang Yi said, "We might as well compete internationally to see who can build more roads, railways, and bridges for developing countries, and who can construct more schools, hospitals, and sports facilities for the people in low-income countries. China has the confidence and determination in this regard."