United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres has hailed China for its efforts in creating projects that help developing countries to create infrastructure and guarantee their sustainable development.
Guterres said this in Beijing during a high-level second Belt and Road Forum (BRF) on international cooperation opened by Chinese President Xi Jingping yesterday.
The forum, which began on Thursday and runs until today, drew together over 5 000 delegates from 150 countries, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta, Mozambique’s Felipe Nyusi and leaders of Egypt and 33 other countries.
BRF is China’s flagship platform for international cooperation under the BRI framework first proposed by Xi in 2013. It has infrastructure development at its core in Asia, Europe and in 53 of the 54 African countries.
“This is the exact way to have a fair globalisation… a fair globalisation is the way to have a future of shared respect. That is the way China acted [in finding solutions to numerous challenges facing the developing world],” said Guterres, adding that there is currently a global debt problem which must not be confused with certain international projects being undertaken by Beijing.
In his opening remarks, Xi said BRI has registered many achievements since the first summit in 2017. He also urged participating countries to collaborate in fostering the BRI blueprint along the path of high-quality growth.
“The joint BRI procedure is to enhance connectivity and practical cooperation. It is about jointly confronting challenges and risks affecting mankind and delivering win-win outcomes and common development,” said Xi.
According to the Chinese president, the general connectivity framework, consisting of six corridors in multiple countries and ports, has also been put in place besides large cooperation projects and the decisions of the first BRF which have been smoothly implemented.
However, he skipped accusations by some western countries, such as the United States (US), that China uses its aid to Africa as a ‘debt trap’, but said his government anticipates open, green and clean cooperation with “zero tolerance for corruption”.
Meanwhile, Beijing will soon sign high-standard free trade agreements with more countries and support 5 000 innovators in BRI countries such as Malawi in conducting exchanges, training programs and joint researches in the next five years.n