Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli on Friday called for greater progress to be achieved in projects under the Belt and Road Initiative this year.
Significant headway should be achieved in certain principal areas, Zhang told attendees of a work conference on Belt and Road development in 2017. The vice premier demanded "high-quality" work to ensure that the Belt and Road forum for international cooperation, which will be held in Beijing in May, is a success.
Areas to be developed further include infrastructure connectivity, and trade and investment cooperation along the Belt and Road, Zhang said. He also said more detailed measures were needed to prevent risks and enhance people-to-people exchanges.
The Belt and Road Initiative, an infrastructure and trade network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along ancient trade routes, was first put forward by President Xi Jinping in 2013.
While originating in China, the initiative has delivered benefits well beyond its borders. So far, more than 40 countries and international organizations have signed cooperation agreements with China under the initiative.
The upcoming Belt and Road forum will explore ways to address regional and global economic problems, generate fresh energy for interconnected development, and ensure that the initiative brings greater benefits to people of the countries involved, Xi said in January.