By Chu Maoming, China’s Consul General in Lagos
Chinese President Xi Jinping made a feature address at a grand ceremony marking the centenary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on July 1. In this keynote speech, President Xi, also General Secretary of the CPC’s Central Committee looked back on the glorious journey and arduous struggles of over 100 years and envisioned the bright prospects for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. His speech provided the most authoritative answer to help the world understand China better.
In the important speech, President Xi emphasized that China remains committed to promoting high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative. He said, “We will work to build a new type of international relations and a human community with a shared future, promote high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative through joint efforts, and use China’s new achievements in development to provide the world with new opportunities.”
It is President Xi himself who proposed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013 in an attempt to carry on the Silk Road spirit, co-build an open platform for cooperation with all countries and generate new driving forces for the development of all countries.
Belt and Road cooperation pursues development, aims at mutual benefits, and conveys a message of hope.
Over the past eight years, 140 countries and 32 international organizations have joined in Belt and Road cooperation. The BRI has evolved from a concept and vision into real actions and reality and brought about enormous opportunities and benefits to countries around the world.
When fully implemented, the BRI could increase global trade by 6.2 percent and global real income by 2.9 percent, according to a World Bank report. It has truly become the world’s broadest-based and largest platform for international cooperation.
An Asian Economic Outlook and Integration Progress Annual Report 2021 of the Boao Forum for Asia said, in the face of the test posed by the pandemic, the BRI has shown strong resilience and vitality, with relevant projects continuing to advance, cooperation yielding many fruits, and trade and investment keeping growth against headwinds. Faced with the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, China and BRI partners have helped and supported each other to overcome difficulties together, strengthened the building of a “Silk Road for health”, a “green Silk Road” and a “digital Silk Road” and brought forward the Belt and Road development, conveying confidence and vitality to the international community and contributing to the global fight against COVID-19 and economic recovery.
In the speech delivered at the grand gathering celebrating the centenary of the CPC, President Xi also solemnly declared that through the continuous efforts of the whole Party and the entire nation, China has realized the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. China is now embarking towards the second centenary goal of building a strong modern socialist country in all respects, and has entered a new development stage, acted on a new development concept, and has been fostering a new development paradigm, which provides more opportunities in the market, investment and growth for Belt and Road partners.
Standing at a new starting point in history, China will bring about new opportunities for high-quality construction of the Belt and Road. China stands ready to work with all parties to build a closer Belt and Road partnership, adhere to the path of unity, cooperation, interconnectivity, and common development, and jointly promote the building of a community with a shared future for humanity.
China and Nigeria have also carried out cooperation on BRI. Our two countries have signed a document on the cooperation and rolled out practical programmes to jointly provide financing, expertise and services. As China opens wider to the world and the BRI development keeps advancing, more and more Chinese companies are bringing their capital and businesses to Nigeria. Today, the cooperation between Chinese and Nigerian companies covers a wide range of areas from financial services and high-tech manufacturing to clean energy and infrastructure. This has not only promoted the growth of Chinese companies but also created huge job opportunities and tax revenue and boosted the development of the relevant industries locally. Under these circumstances, we are of full confidence that economic cooperation between China and Nigeria will definitely be further deepened.