Based on the new characteristics of the changes in the world economic development pattern after the 2008 global financial crisis, that is, the economies of the United States and Europe have been greatly affected by the global financial crisis, and there has been a relatively obvious trend of economic recession. At the same time, a number of emerging markets including China Countries and developing countries have shown rapid economic recovery and demonstrated a good momentum of group rise. In order to provide new growth momentum for the global economy and at the same time promote the sustainable economic development of developing countries, the Chinese government proposed the "Belt and Road" in the fall of 2013. Advocate that China and other countries in the world establish a closer interconnected partnership through the joint construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and promote the implementation of more effective allocation of economic resources at the regional level and even the world to achieve a linked region And global economic growth, to achieve mutual benefit, win-win and common development.

Discuss and build together, China takes the lead in active actions

  China not only proposed the "Belt and Road" initiative, but also took the lead in implementing this initiative.

To implement such a large systemic global initiative, a lot of work needs to be done, but in a nutshell, the most important work is to discuss and build together.

  Co-consultation is the basis and starting point of co-construction.

The main purpose of consultation is to form a consensus, not only to form a domestic consensus, but also to form an international consensus. China has done a lot of work to this end.

On March 28, 2015, authorized by the State Council, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Commerce jointly issued the "Vision and Actions for Promoting the Joint Construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road". The era background, co-construction principles, framework ideas, cooperation priorities, cooperation mechanisms, and China's actions of the "Belt and Road" have all been elaborated, and a Chinese plan for the joint construction of the "Belt and Road" has been proposed.

  After this Chinese plan was publicly released to the world, it quickly received warm welcome and strong support from many countries and international organizations. Government departments and think tanks in some countries also put forward some suggestions, taking into account changes in the international political and economic development situation and To implement new problems in the process of co-construction of the “Belt and Road”, the Chinese government put forward new ideas on improving and perfecting the construction of the “Belt and Road” at the second “Belt and Road” International Cooperation Summit Forum, which is about promoting joint construction. The systematic thinking of “Belt and Road” for high-quality development emphasizes that in the process of “Belt and Road” construction, we must uphold the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, adhere to the concept of openness, greenness, and integrity, and strive to achieve high standards, good people’s livelihood, and sustainability. Continuous goals.

  These new ideas better meet the expectations and requirements of the international community, further consolidate international consensus, and are welcomed and supported by most countries in the world.

  As of June 23, 2021, China has signed 206 cooperation documents for the joint construction of the “Belt and Road” with 140 countries and 32 international organizations.

This shows that the number of countries that have signed the "Belt and Road" cooperation agreement with China accounts for more than 70% of the total number of sovereign countries in the world.

This shows that most countries in the world have clearly expressed their clear and positive attitude towards the joint construction of the “Belt and Road”.

Although some countries have not yet signed an intergovernmental "Belt and Road" cooperation agreement with China, they have also signed an intergovernmental memorandum of understanding on third-party market cooperation with China, such as France, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium and other countries. Companies in these countries Many important infrastructure projects and people’s livelihood and welfare projects have been built with Chinese companies in third-party markets (mostly countries under the “Belt and Road” joint construction), which are welcomed by third-party countries and their people.

This fully shows that the joint construction of the “Belt and Road” has achieved good results in building consensus.

  On the basis of full consensus, China and relevant countries have carried out extensive joint construction in the past 8 years, including joint selection of construction projects, joint consultation and handling of land, taxation, labor, environmental protection, equipment, and technology related to project construction. , Legal and other aspects, as well as project financing issues and so on.

  Two of these tasks are particularly important, that is, the selection of construction projects and the financing arrangements for construction projects.

In terms of construction project selection, the basic approach adopted by China and related countries is to give priority to those projects that involve bilateral or multilateral development strategic planning as a must, and to determine the priority of related project construction through docking development strategies.

By 2018, China's central enterprises alone have carried out more than 3,000 construction projects and projects in the areas of infrastructure construction, energy resource development, and international production capacity cooperation in countries along the “Belt and Road”, including the Yaji Railway and Mombasa-Nairobi Railway. Railway, China-Laos Railway and other railway projects, Piraeus Port, Djibouti New Port and other port projects, China-Russia, China-Kazakhstan, China-Myanmar crude oil pipelines, China-Russia, Central Asia, China-Myanmar natural gas pipelines and other major projects.

  Another important task that determines the success or failure of the “Belt and Road” construction is financing.

This work is mainly done by Chinese financial institutions.

Under normal circumstances, the financing provided by Chinese financial institutions for large-scale “Belt and Road” construction projects will account for more than 70% of the total project financing, and 85% of the financing for some major construction projects is provided by Chinese financial institutions.

According to incomplete statistics, during the eight years of the “Belt and Road Initiative”, Chinese financial institutions have provided financing arrangements for the construction of related projects with a total of nearly one trillion US dollars, including the Export-Import Bank of China, China Development Bank, and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. , China Construction Bank, Bank of China, etc. have provided a considerable amount of financing support.

The “Belt and Road” special investment fund specially established by China, the Silk Road Fund, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank) initiated by China, have also provided financing support to support the construction of “Belt and Road” projects to ensure construction The successful completion of the project has made a huge contribution.

Sharing achievements, early harvest of the "Belt and Road" construction

  After 8 years of joint construction, the "Belt and Road" construction has already reaped fruitful early results.

First of all, and the most important construction result, the interconnection infrastructure construction network system of "six corridors, six roads, multiple countries and multiple ports" has been basically constructed, especially the construction of the transportation infrastructure and energy infrastructure network system is relatively complete. The three-dimensional structure of sea, land, air, and space power grids provides good hardware support for further promoting the deep integration of regional economic integration. For example, it has contributed to the promotion of the development of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the promotion of the development of the Eurasian economic integration. And will further play a positive role in promoting.

  Secondly, under the framework of the interconnection infrastructure network system of "six corridors, six roads, multiple countries and multiple ports", a large number of construction projects have been implemented and quickly advanced, which directly promoted the rapid growth of China's investment in related countries. From the perspective of China’s foreign direct investment flow, it was US$107.8 billion in 2013, and achieved rapid growth in 2014, 2015 and 2016, reaching US$123.1 billion, US$145.7 billion and US$196.2 billion respectively. In 2015, China Outward direct investment exceeded the actual use of foreign investment by US$10 billion that year; however, it has declined in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. From the perspective of China’s non-financial direct investment in countries along the “Belt and Road”, except for a slight decline in 2016, 2017 and 2019, other years have maintained relatively high growth-only about 100 in 2013. It increased to 12.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2014, and continued to grow to 14.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2015, 15.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2018, and 17.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2020. In the eight years since the “Belt and Road” initiative was proposed, China’s cumulative direct investment in countries along the route has reached 135.1 billion U.S. dollars from 2013 to 2020. The World Bank’s research results show that due to improved transportation connectivity, foreign direct investment in low-income countries has increased by 7.6%.

  Thirdly, directly benefiting from the smooth completion of many major transportation infrastructure construction projects, the overall transportation cost of some countries has been reduced, and the trade potential has been better utilized. This has promoted the development of trade in related countries, especially in some countries and China. The development of trade between. For example, after the completion and successful operation of the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway, Kenya’s freight transportation costs have been greatly reduced, which has rapidly promoted the development of its domestic trade; after the completion and operation of the Yaji Railway, Ethiopia’s freight costs have also been greatly reduced and directly opened up through Djibouti. The large transportation channel of goods exported to the international market has promoted the development of its international trade. The China-Europe Express Express has given full play to its comparative advantages of relatively low transportation costs (compared to air transportation) and relatively short transportation time (compared to sea transportation). In recent years, it has developed rapidly. There are 22 countries and more than 160 cities in Europe. Realizing the interconnection of goods trade, China and these cities in these countries have obtained tangible benefits from it. Therefore, in the eight years since the joint construction of the “Belt and Road”, the proportion of goods trade between China and the countries along the route in China’s total imports and exports of goods has shown an overall upward trend-in the initial period of the joint construction in 2014, goods between China and the countries along the “Belt and Road” Trade accounted for 26% of China’s total trade in goods that year. It increased to 26.5% in 2017, continued to increase to 27.4% in 2018, and further increased by 2 percentage points in 2019, reaching a level of nearly 30%. It will account for nearly 30% in 2020. It also remained above 29%. In particular, many countries along the “Belt and Road” have increased their exports of agricultural and livestock products to China particularly fast, and the growth rate is also very large. The World Bank believes that the trade of countries along the economic corridor will grow between 2.8% and 9.7%, driving the entire world trade to grow by 1.7% to 6.2%.

  Fourth, the joint construction of the “Belt and Road” is directly conducive to promoting the development of global poverty reduction. From the perspective of relevance, many aspects of the joint construction of the “Belt and Road” are conducive to direct poverty reduction. For example, as we mentioned above, if the conditions for the construction of transportation infrastructure are improved, the people in many poor countries and regions will be able to improve. Sell ​​their products to the regional market or even the international market at a low cost, and get more profits accordingly. A more direct way is that more "Belt and Road" investment and construction projects directly increase the employment demand for the poor, thereby increasing their income and reducing poverty. According to the results of the World Bank's special research, the “Belt and Road” transportation construction project alone will help 7.6 million people get rid of extreme poverty and 32 million people out of moderate poverty. Moreover, the Chinese government has also implemented and implemented supporting and helping the co-construction of the country’s poverty reduction as a part of the “Belt and Road” construction. Construction, provision of public services, technical assistance, etc.) poverty alleviation experiments have achieved good results. If we promote the successful experience in these areas, the global poverty reduction effect of the “Belt and Road Initiative” can be extended and expanded on a larger scale, which will help relevant countries to better realize the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The proposed poverty reduction goal.

  Fifth, certain aspects of the global governance system have been gradually improved and perfected.

Due to the many global problems facing the world at present, it is impossible to solve these problems at all by relying on the strength of one or two countries. The active participation of more countries and the construction of more international cooperation platforms will help solve these problems better. .

For example, as one of the important contents of the “Belt and Road” initiative, China’s co-founding of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank with more than 100 countries and China’s independent establishment of the Silk Road Fund are directly conducive to increasing the supply of funds required for global infrastructure investment. It is an important supplement and improvement to the current international financial governance system.

For another example, China’s poverty reduction programs and experience that have achieved victory in the battle against poverty through the implementation of targeted poverty alleviation and other methods are also of important reference value for supplementing and improving the current global poverty reduction governance system, and for better achieving the sustainable development of the United Nations in 2030. The agenda provided strong support.

In addition, the joint construction of the “Belt and Road” provides important support for the transformation and development of the economic globalization governance system toward a more open, inclusive, inclusive, balanced, and win-win direction.

In short, through the joint construction of the “Belt and Road”, many incremental contributions can be made to the improvement and perfection of the current global governance system, which is directly conducive to coping with the common challenges faced by mankind.

Looking forward to the future, the joint construction of the "Belt and Road" is optimistic

  It is precisely because the joint construction of the “Belt and Road” has achieved many early results in the past eight years, and has brought many tangible benefits to the relevant countries and their people, it is generally welcomed.

But at the same time, it has also been criticized and criticized by some countries and some people.

So how should we understand this problem?

After 8 years of co-construction practice, it should be said that we have a relatively clear answer to this question, that is, the joint construction of the "Belt and Road" has not only achieved initial success, but also its development prospects are more optimistic and expected, because of the co-construction The “Belt and Road” initiative not only reflects the objective needs of human development, but also conforms to the objective laws of human progress.

  From the basic purpose, the most basic purpose of China’s proposal to jointly build the “Belt and Road” initiative is to increase some people’s livelihood construction projects, increase employment opportunities, and promote economic growth, thereby improving and enhancing people’s living standards and enhancing human well-being. , To seek happiness for the people.

This includes not only the side that further promotes its own development, but also the side that benefits the world.

  From the perspective of internal mechanisms, as China is increasingly deeply integrated into the world, China's new development is actually a new opportunity for the world.

This is why the important speech of "July 1" put together the promotion of building a community with a shared future for mankind and the promotion of the building of a new type of international relations and the promotion of high-quality development of the "Belt and Road" (referred to as the "three pushes") together, as the sixth " The important content that must be continued to be strengthened is highly valued.

The discussion on this aspect in the important speech of "July 1" not only clarified why China should pay attention to the construction of the destiny body of mankind, but also clarified the internal logic of the "three pushes", that is, between China’s new development and the world’s new opportunities. Very close objective connection.

As long as China continues to move forward, it will continue to provide new opportunities and new dividends for the world's development, thereby promoting the world's better development; accordingly, as long as the world becomes better, China will also develop better.

Among them, there are many forces that are strengthening such ties, and the joint construction of the "Belt and Road" is one of the important forces that cannot be ignored.

  From the perspective of implementation, it is the central government’s "promoting the joint construction of the'Belt and Road' high-quality development". The core is to uphold the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, adhere to the concept of openness, green, and cleanliness, and strive to achieve high standards and benefit the people's livelihood , Sustainable goals.

Such a set of ideas and plans for high-quality co-construction of the “Belt and Road” conforms to the laws of economic development, conforms to the principles of international cooperation, and reflects the requirements of sustainable development.

  From the perspective of development direction, the joint construction of the “Belt and Road” has created a very important practical platform for building a community with a shared future for mankind. It is conducive to promoting the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind gradually becoming a reality. It also provides a good opportunity for countries and the international community. The demonstrative effect of, standing on the right side of history, standing on the side of human progress, represents the correct force to promote the development of history.

Therefore, although the joint construction of the “Belt and Road” has encountered some resistance and setbacks in its development, its development prospects are bright and promising.

(Author: Hu Biliang/Executive Dean of One Belt One Road College, Beijing Normal University)