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China’s President Xi praises Belt and Road success, outlines future plans for its development.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping Opens Belt and Road Forum in Beijing

Chinese President Xi Jinping opened the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on Wednesday, marking a decade since he launched his initiative to build global infrastructure and energy networks.

Blueprints Turned into Real Projects

During his opening speech, Xi declared that the decade since the launch of his flagship policy had seen “blueprints turned into real projects.” He highlighted the positive impact of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), emphasizing how it has boosted the flow of goods, capital, technology, and human resources among the countries involved.

A Global Gathering

Representatives from more than 130 countries, primarily from the Global South, attended the forum. Among them were over two dozen heads of state, including Xi’s “dear friend” Russian President Vladimir Putin. The presence of Putin and other foreign leaders, alongside key Chinese officials, showcased the significance of the event.

Building Global Infrastructure and Energy Networks

The Belt and Road Initiative, launched by Xi in 2013, aims to connect Asia with Africa and Europe through overland and maritime routes. While the original focus was on connecting China to Western Europe, notable attendees such as Hungary’s President Viktor Orban and Afghanistan’s Taliban administration’s commerce minister, Haji Nooruddin Azizi, highlighted the initiative’s broad international appeal.

Addressing Western Scepticism

Xi’s grand plans have faced skepticism from the West, primarily due to concerns over China’s rising global influence. However, China has repeatedly emphasized its good intentions and criticized the perceived anti-Chinese prejudice behind the criticism. Despite facing various challenges, such as trade wars and economic slowdowns, Xi is determined to make the Belt and Road Initiative smaller, greener, and more focused on high-tech projects.

Creating a Multi-Polar World Order

Analysts believe that the BRI aims to foster a multi-polar world order that offers more agency to the Global South, countering the dominance of Washington and its allies. The initiative has evolved to incorporate issues like climate change and artificial intelligence, allowing China to export its ideas about governance and build consensus around its norms and development model.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s opening of the Belt and Road Forum signifies a milestone in his ambitious initiative. With representatives from across the globe in attendance, the forum provides a platform to discuss and advance collaboration on global infrastructure and energy networks. As China continues to push for a greener and more inclusive approach, the Belt and Road Initiative holds the potential to reshape the global order and foster greater cooperation between nations.