China is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which has extended Chinese economic and geopolitical influence across the globe. In his opening speech, Xi promised to extend access to China’s market for international firms and for new financing exceeding $100 billion for other developing economies.
He added that two Chinese-backed development banks – the China Development Bank and the Export–Import Bank of China – will each set 350 billion yuan ($47.9 billion) financing windows, while an additional 80 billion yuan ($11 billion) will be injected into the Silk Road Fund to support BRI projects.
“Viewing other’s development as a threat, or taking economic interdependence as a risk will not make one’s own life better or speed up one’s own development,” Xi said.
“We have learned that the silk road spirit of peace and cooperation, mutual learning and mutual benefit, openness and win-win is the most important source of strength for the Belt and Road cooperation.”
The initiative has deepened China’s relations with Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East through large infrastructure projects such as power plants, roads, railroads and ports. As for China-Africa cooperation, one of the BRI’s most significant features is its emphasis on green infrastructure projects and renewable energy development.
Of the representatives from more than 130 mostly developing countries attending the forum, including at least 20 heads of state and government, several African leaders are present. Kenyan’s President William Ruto and Ethiopia’s President Abiy Ahmed, amongst others, are in attendance.