President Xi Jinping of China, speaking Friday at the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, focused on sustainable global development as he assured world leaders that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) aligns with their own initiatives.
“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,” Xi said.
That development needs to advance with climate change in the forefront. “The Belt and Road is not an exclusive club; it aims to promote green development,” Xi added. “We may launch green infrastructure projects, make green investment and provide green financing to protect the Earth which we all call home.”
Also speaking was Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, who said the BRI is complementary to Egypt’s own vision of economic development. He was among a number of leaders from the African continent in attendance, including President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi . Both Kenyatta and Nyusi expressed the need for infrastructure development in their countries and the region.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the BRI – with more than 150 countries and international organizations on board – offers “a meaningful opportunity to contribute to the creation of a more equitable, prosperous world for all, and to reversing the negative impact of climate change.”
The complete keynote speech from Xi is available here.
Image: BRI 2019