From April 8-11 2018, the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2018 themed An Open and Innovation Asia for A World of Greater Prosperity was held in Boao, Hainan Province, China. Chinese President H.E. Xi Jinping delivered the keynote speech at the opening ceremony, stressing that all countries should conform to the trend of the times, [be dedicated] to openness and win-win outcomes, be brave to change and break new ground and keep striving for a community with a shared future for mankind.
Xi Jinping pointed out that 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up. Over the past four decades, with united and determined efforts, the Chinese people have added a glorious chapter to the development epic of the country. Xi Jinping stressed that for any country to achieve rejuvenation, it must follow the logic of history and the trend of the times in its pursuit of progress and development.
What is the development trend of the world and [where is mankind headed ] According to Xi Jinping, we live at a time of an overwhelming trend toward peace and cooperation, openness and connectivity, as well as reform and innovation. In a world aspiring for peace and development, the cold-war and zero-sum mentality are even more out of place. Putting oneself on a pedestal or trying to immune oneself from adverse developments will get nowhere. The world has become a global village where interests are intertwined and economic and social progress interconnected. In order to promote common prosperity and development in today’s world, the only way is to pursue greater connectivity and integrated development. Reform and innovation are the fundamental driving force of human progress. Those who reject them will be left behind and assigned to the dustbin of history. Facing [a] developing momentum like this, we all need to go with the trend in order to create a better future.
Following the trend of our times and advance the well-being of all people, Xi Jinping proposed the initiative to build a community with a shared future for mankind and to work together to make the world peaceful, tranquil, prosperous, open and beautiful. With the future in mind, we need to treat each other with respect and as equals, follow a new approach to state-to-state relations featuring dialogue rather than confrontation, and partnership instead of alliance to work together for enduring peace. We need to promote dialogue and share responsibility to lead us to universal and common security, engage in cooperation for win-win results, build an open global economy, uphold the multilateral trading system to make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all. We need to uphold inclusiveness and seek harmony without uniformity, promote mutual learning among civilizations as it will help us build bridges of friendship, drive social progress, and safeguard peace for the region and beyond. We need to treat nature with respect and treasure our planet, pursue progress along the path of sustainable development featuring increased production, higher living standards and healthy ecosystems so that future generations can enjoy blue skies, clear water and lush mountains.
Xi Jinping pointed out that a comprehensive study of world development trajectories shows that economic globalization is an irreversible trend of our times. China will continue to adhere to its fundamental national policy of opening-up and pursue development with its door wide open. China’s door of opening-up will not be closed and will only open even wider! In the keynote speech, Xi Jinping announced that China will adopt major measures to pursue further opening, including significantly broadening market access, creating a more attractive investment environment, strengthening protection of intellectual property rights and take the initiative to expand imports.
Five years since its establishment and as an important carrier to fulfilling the initiative for building a community with a shared future for mankind, as well as an international cooperation platform for all countries across the world, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), has become the most welcomed international public product. In the framework of BRI, 80 more countries and international organizations have signed cooperation agreements with China. In history, the Maritime Silk Road once reached to the Caribbean region. In the 21st century, distance should never be the obstacle of international cooperation so the Caribbean region should also participate in the building of the BRI.
As a very important country in the Caribbean region, Barbados is a vital partner of China. In recent years, fruitful achievements have been made in the pragmatic cooperation between China and Barbados – the China-Barbados mutual visa waiver agreement came into effect; the Sam Lord Castle Hotel Project officially commenced; the Sir Garfield Sobers Gymnasium was thoroughly rehabilitated with China’s aid and handed over to the Government of Barbados; two Chinese medical teams [were] stationed successfully at the Q.E.H; more than 2,500 people registered at the Confucius Institute at U.W.I. Cave Hill Campus; two agricultural projects funded with a Chinese grant made steady progress and the 40th anniversary of China-Barbados diplomatic ties was jointly celebrated with positive outcomes. China-Barbados relations has reached its best time in history. China stands ready to work together with Barbados to promote the building of the BRI to further deepen the pragmatic cooperation in sectors like infrastructure construction, renewable energy, modern agriculture and people-to-people exchange, so as to realize optimization, [the] upgrading and innovative development of cooperation, and create a new pattern of cooperation [in] a wide range of fields, better structure, stronger impetus and greater quality between China and Barbados.
As a Chinese saying goes, “A mountain is formed by accumulation of earth and an ocean is formed by accumulation of water.” China will continue to stick to the principle of mutual benefit, and is willing to work together with Barbados and other countries across the world to keep striving for a community with a shared future for mankind and a better tomorrow for the world!
(H.E. Yan Xiusheng is the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Barbados)