Speaking at a CPC Political Bureau Study Group on the history of the ancient Silk Road and the Maritime Silk Road on April 29, President Xi Jinping said that he hoped that the Belt and Road Initiative would be of benefit to all countries, as well as to China. President Xi has initiated these study groups in order to invite experts in to the Politburo to more intensively examine questions of importance for the nation, on which they must make decisions.
The expert for the Friday meeting was Prof. Li Guqiang from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).
President Xi also addressed the group on the topic. “The construction of the Belt and Road is our multi-directional proposal in the new economic circumstances to create an important mutually beneficial, win-win platform. We must approach it from a higher standpoint, adopt a broader vision in assimilating and drawing lessons on the basis of historical experience. We must use creative ideas and innovative thinking to create a sound basis for our work and in order to allow the people of all the countries along the Road to experience concretely the benefits of the Road and Belt. The Political Bureau is this time studying this topic, most importantly to grasp the historical culture of the ancient Silk Road and the maritime Silk Road, to sum up the historical experience in order to push forward the construction of the Belt and Road under new circumstances and to draw lessons from this historical experience.
“When the Belt and Road was proposed, it aroused great interest in many layers and had reverberations around the world, and every side responded. The reason for the strong response was primarily that the proposal corresponded to the demand of the times and each country quickened its desire for development, which has deep historical roots and its basis in humanity. Viewed from our circumstances, this proposal is in accordance with the demands of our country’s economic development, but is also conducive to drive the development of our neighboring countries. The Belt and Road arouses the sense of history in our neighboring countries. The ancient Silk Road was a corridor of trade, but even more a corridor of friendship. With the friendly contacts between the Chinese people and our neighboring peoples, we are step-by-step approaching a condition of peace and cooperation, a flourishing of tolerance, of learning from each other, of a mutual benefit and win-win spirit that characterized the ancient Silk Road.
“We have initiated the Belt and Road, but building the Belt and Road is not only our task. It cannot be viewed as only the means of our development, but we must use our development as a critical turning point to allow more countries to get on our express train and to help them realize the goals of their own development. It must be to the benefit of our country but also to the benefit of other nations. We must adopt the principle of justice before benefit, achieving justice then benefit, not eager for success and immediate benefit, not conducting short-sighted actions. We must plan the project as a whole taking into consideration our own interests and the interests of the countries along the way, which may be somewhat different, and seek for more junctures in our mutual benefits and engender in the countries along the Belt and Road our enthusiasm.”
Xi also urged Chinese companies to value not only economic returns from their investment projects in foreign countries but also their reputations as law-abiding and responsible entities.