Chinese President Xi Jinping met here on Thursday with foreign representatives attending the Asian Political Parties' Special Conference on the Silk Road.
The conference with the theme of "New Vision of the Silk Road, Actions for Common Development," is of important practical significance, said Xi.
The Belt and Road initiative, including the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, was unveiled by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013. It brings together countries in Asia, Europe and even Africa, with the purpose of boosting infrastructure building, financial cooperation and cultural exchanges in those regions.
To speed up the Belt and Road construction is conducive to the economic prosperity of countries along the route and regional economic cooperation, said Xi, adding the initiative will also promote exchanges among different civilizations and world peace and development. He believed that the conference would make a new contribution to the Belt and Road as well as the common development of countries along the route.
According to statistics from China, in the first seven months of this year, the trade between China and countries along the Belt and Road totaled at more than 570 billion U.S. dollars, and direct investment by Chinese companies totaled at 8.59 billion U.S. dollars, up nearly 30 percent on an annual basis.
Over the past two years, the Belt and Road Initiative has received positive response from international society, especially from more than 60 countries along the route that are gradually reaping early results, said Xi. China follows the principles of wide consultation, joint contributions and shared benefits when promoting the initiative, he said, noting that farsighted political parties and politicians should be at the forefront in the construction of the Belt and Road.
Xi called on countries along the route to align their development and reform strategies with the Belt and Road initiative. He also suggested those political parties and politicians coordinate forces of all walks of life in their countries to participate in the Belt and Road cooperation, including political forces, think-tanks, media, enterprises and non-governmental organizations. He said the advancement of the Belt and Road cooperation is an important part of China's 13th Five Year Plan (2016-2020).
China welcomes countries along the route to board China's express train of development, so as to achieve common development, he said.
Major representatives of Asian political parties said China's Belt and Road initiative has offered historical opportunities for the common prosperity and development of countries along the route and Eurasia.
The conference, hosted by the Communist Party of China, has provided a important platform for Asian political parties to make consultation on the initiative, according to the representatives.
They voiced support to the Belt and Road construction, and believed that the initiative would benefit people of countries along the route and contribute to lasting peace and development in Asia and world. The Asian Political Parties' Special Conference on the Silk Road began on Wednesday and runs through Friday.