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Fu Hua: "Making Greater Contributions to Promoting the High-quality Development of the BRI Together”

2023-01-12 14:02·Xinhua Institute
by Fu Hua

 Making Greater Contributions to Promoting the High-quality Development of the BRI Together

Fu Hua

 Chairperson of the Belt and Road Studies Network (BRSN) Initiators Council,

President of Xinhua News Agency

Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013. Over the past nearly 10 years, the BRI has continued advancing and producing concrete outcomes, and has made great contributions to global development, with the joint efforts of the participating countries. As is said in the report of the 20th CPC National Congress, the BRI has been welcomed by the international community both as a public good and a cooperation platform and China will promote a high level of opening up to the outside world and high-quality development of Belt and Road.

President Xi sent a special congratulatory letter to the inaugural meeting when the BRSN was set up in 2019, expressing his hope for the network to deepen academic exchanges, produce more high-quality research results and contribute to making solid progress in the joint development of the BRI and building a community with a shared future for mankind. Over the past three years, the BRSN has strengthened the exchanges in various fields, promoted practical cooperation at multiple levels and got in a bumper harvest.

Since the last council meeting, we, the chairperson of the initiators council, have finished the following tasks.

——We organized a series of symposiums that have been widely applauded: "Hong Ting Forum: Understanding the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China" held in Beijing; Global Dialogue Series co-organized in Mexico City, Madrid, Johannesburg, etc., with the theme of "Hong Ting Forum: Development of China, Opportunities for the World"; 2022 New Silk Road Storytelling - Keqiao Forum launched in east China's Zhejiang Province; and the 2nd "China-Korea Think Tank Media Dialogue" co-hosted with the Belt and Road Institute of Korea, which is one of BRSN's members. 

——We have strengthened cooperation between think tanks on relevant research. Just before the World Human Rights Day, we issued a think tank report entitled "For a Life of Contentment -- The Rationale for China's Human Rights Development", which was highly evaluated by the member states and organizations. Along with the Chinese Academy of Cyberspace Studies and the Chinese Academy of International Studies, we initiated a global think tank research gathering call, inviting several member organizations to participate in the collaboration, and the results of the event were released at the World Internet Conference. Besides, we actively called on the council members to join various international events to enhance the visibility and influence of the BRSN. 

——We have stepped up the BRSN platform construction, comprehensively upgrading its official website, enhancing the full-media display of its academic study results and online interactive functions, and opening an official account on Facebook so as to keep membership well-informed of the activities and research trends in time and at ease. We have edited and published BRSN journal-- "Belt and Road Observation" to showcase the latest studies and academic developments of the BRSN members.

The world today is facing a sweeping change unseen in a century. Changes in the world, of the times and of historical nature, are unfolding in unprecedented ways. Deficits in peace, development, security and governance are mounting, and the world is once again standing at the crossroads. Despite the volatile global landscape, the historical trend of peace, development, cooperation and win-win is unstoppable. Noting the international community's eager expectation for the high-quality construction of the "Belt and Road", BRSN should play a greater role in pooling wisdom and efforts and work concertedly to build the Belt and Road into a road of peace, prosperity, openness, greenness, innovation, and civilization. 

We shall play the role of an intellectual platform to jointly promote the development of the BRI, which conforms to the trend of the times, adapts to the law of development and meets the interests of all peoples, thus enjoying broad prospects. By leveraging our intellectual advantages, we shall conduct academic research in multiple fields, carry out cooperative study on topics of common concern, and bring out more valuable and workable think tank results, so as to provide advice and suggestions for the high-quality development of the BRI.

We shall play the role of an exchange platform to jointly foster people-to-people connections in countries involved in the BRI. The BRI pursues a goal of joint development, advocates win-win, and conveys hope. In the face of changes and challenges, think tanks, as a key channel for dialogue and humanistic exchanges, should play a functional role in promoting communication and deepening mutual trust, elucidating the general situation with authoritative research results, boosting mutual trust and understanding with rational views, clarifying doubts and misunderstandings with professional voices. We should urge countries to join hands and work together, so that peoples all over the world can address challenges together and achieve mutual benefits.

We shall play the role of a communication platform to tell the Belt and Road stories. According to a World Bank study, the BRI will lift 7.6 million people out of extreme poverty and 32 million out of moderate poverty in participating countries, and increase global trade by 1.7% to 6.2% and global income by 0.7% to 2.9%. Thoroughly studying the successes where the BRI has achieved, we can tell vivid stories emerging, unveil the profound truths implied. In the way, we can expound the concept, principles, approaches, as well as the value of the Belt and Road construction. Hence, more people will be encouraged to participate in this initiative.

The year of 2023 marks the tenth anniversary of the BRI. It is of special significance to conduct think tank research and hold exchange activities in such a historic year. Therefore, as the chair of the initiators council, we put forward the following suggestions for next year's work.

First, actively boosting the interaction between council members. In November, 2022, President Xi said at the 29th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting that China would consider holding the 3rd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in 2023. A general meeting will be convened at the same time in accordance with the Charter of the BRSN. We await all the memberships and member organizations to attend the meeting. We will also organize various bi- and multi-lateral academic symposiums to promote further normalization and diversification of exchanges among memberships. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented face-to-face communications, we have gathered online for ideas exchanging and results sharing in the past three years. We look forward to meeting offline in the near future to renew our friendship and discuss issues of common concerns.

Second, vigorously carrying out international cooperative research. The ten-year implementation of the BRI provides us with important research values and sources of ideas to answer the questions of the world and the times. In this regard, we will release the first batch of selected topics for the global think tanks to study. The call for gathering BRI-related reports worldwide will be launched today. We look forward to the active participation of all BRSN members and organizations. My colleague, Mr. Zhao Cheng, will give a detailed introduction to the report-gathering campaign. As a demonstration, we have already conducted in-depth researches on the Belt and Road Development Studies (one of the topics listed in the call). We are now giving the resulted research report the final touch-ups after consulting with several experts in the Initiators Council. In addition, we have launched a campaign called "New Silk Road Storytelling" Global Case Collection, in order to better sort out the experience and achievements of the BRI. The outcome will be made available to the public some time in 2023. Likewise, welcome all the BRSN members to take an active part in this event and make generous contributions. We believe that through a series of international cooperation and research, the BRSN will provide more intellectual support for the high-quality development of the BRI.

Third, further strengthening the service function of the BRSN. Xinhua News Agency, as the chair organization, will consolidate the mechanism of the BRSN, give full play to the role of the Secretariat, and continue to manage the official website, social media accounts and the BRSN journal, to make sure the BRSN provides better service coordination in terms of results display and information sharing. We appreciate members'opinions and suggestions on the management of the council and the work of the Secretariat, with an aim of taking the construction of the BRSN to a new height.

Our time is full of challenges, as well as hopes. Chinese people are ready to join hands with all the peoples of the world to create a better future for humanity. We look forward to the concerted efforts of all BRSN members to promote the high-quality construction of the BRI, to bring the world a better future of lasting peace, security, common prosperity, openness, inclusiveness, cleanliness and beauty, and to promote the vision for building a community with a shared future for mankind!

Excerpt from Fu Hua's Speech at the 2022 meeting of the Initiators Council of the Belt and Road Studies Network (BRSN)