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The Sunday Telegraph Publishes A Signed Article by Ambassador Liu Xiaoming Entitled " Britain Has An Important Role to Play in China's Continued Development "
2017/05/14

On 14 May 2017, the Sunday Telegraph and its website published a signed article by Ambassador Liu Xiaoming entitled "Britain has an important role to play in China's continued development". The full text is as follows:

Today the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation is unveiled in Beijing. This ancient capital with a 3,000-year history once again becomes a focus of world attention. Proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative has seen fruitful outcomes and this vigorous Initiative is now widely welcome.

China wants to share this opportunity of development with the world, for we know our fast rise to become the world's second-largest economy has benefited from nearly four decades of efforts to open up and integrate. The Initiative, aiming at stronger international collaboration and connectivity for more integrated growth, is a good example of China and the rest of the world working together for a win-win result .

In 2016, trade in goods between China and countries along the Belt and Road routes totaled $1 trillion, which accounted for about a quarter of China's annual trade in goods. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has attracted $18.5bn dollars in investment and 19 early projects are underway or completed. The Hungary-Serbia Railway and the Jakarta-Bandung High Speed Rail have broken ground, and construction on China-Laos and China-Thailand rail that form part of the pan-Asian railway network have also begun. The China Railway Express is already running on a regular basis across the Eurasian continent. Together with over 20 host countries along the routes, China has built 56 trade and economic cooperation zones, creating nearly 200,000 jobs locally and delivering tangible benefits.

However, one flower does not make a spring. The ancient Silk Road is known to have embraced diverse cultures and generated prosperity along its way. The Belt and Road Initiative is launched in the same spirit of inclusiveness and sharing.

So far, more than 100 countries and international organizations have taken part and over 40 of them have signed cooperation agreements with China.

This initiative has inspired new cooperation models, encouraged efforts to improve trade and investment facilitation, and driven integrated and innovative global growth.

Today's forum will be a landmark in Belt and Road building. As a response to the sluggish world economy and the global call for common development, the forum brings together about 1,500 representatives from over 130 countries, including 29 heads of state or government, to discuss cooperation plans and produce concrete outcomes.

In my view, the forum sets the stage for participants to design the blueprint for cooperation and to dovetail their development strategies.

The leaders' roundtable, where discussion will be presided over by President Xi and attended by the 29 national leaders as well as the UN, World Bank and IMF chiefs, will set up principles for cooperation. Participants will make action plans for the coming five years. More deals will be signed and about 20 states and over 20 international organizations are expected to be added to the list of contracted cooperation partners.

The high-level meetings will enable participants to exchange information and ideas on infrastructure, investment, trade, energy, finance, culture, eco-environment and maritime issues

This forum focuses on down-to-earth measures. To ensure that every project serves the purpose of national development and life improvement, parties will work together to set up joint working groups and investment cooperation centres. The forum will adopt supportive measures, such as optimising financial cooperation mechanisms. This will foster friendship, encourage cultural tolerance and share prosperity.

The UK is an important partner in the Belt and Road Initiative. Over the years I have strongly felt the growing interest in this initiative among the British public. I was once asked if continental Europe was the western end of the Belt and Road?

Britain, as a matter of fact, is the western end of Europe and has a big role to play in the Belt and Road building though much of its potential remains untapped. With its history and unique strength in finance, law, culture and creativity, Britain can work with China to form a strong synergy between their respective development strategies.

Early this year, the first cargo train of China Railway Express made a round trip between London and China's Yiwu, becoming an eye-catching event in both countries. Then last month, at the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Roundtable, I heard many inspiring ideas from my British friends.

Winston Churchill once said: "It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see". Against the backdrop of the coming general election, Britain's participation in the forum is proof of British farsightedness. I believe Britain has an important role to play at the Belt and Road Forum, and China-UK cooperation on the Belt and Road will contribute more "golden fruits" to this golden era of China-UK relations.

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