On April 18, 2017, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a briefing for Chinese and foreign media. Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Deputy Director of the National Development and Reform Commission Wang Xiaotao briefed on relevant situation of related events of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) and answered questions from journalists.
Wang Yi said that the BRF will be held in Beijing from May 14 to 15. President Xi Jinping will attend the opening ceremony and chair the leaders' roundtable. At the invitation of President Xi Jinping, 28 heads of state and government have confirmed to attend the forum so far, including President Mauricio Macri of Argentina, President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, President Michelle Bachelet of Chile, President Milos Zeman of the Czech Republic, President Joko Widodo of Indonesia, President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, President Bounnhang Vorachith of Laos, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, President Vladimir Putin of Russia, President Doris Leuthard of the Swiss Confederation, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan, President Tran Dai Quang of Viet Nam, Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia, Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama of Fiji, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of Greece, Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary, Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni of Italy, Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia, Prime Minister Jargaltulga Erdenebat of Mongolia, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan, Prime Minister Beata Szydło of Poland, Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic of Serbia, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of Sri Lanka.
Wang Yi pointed out that this forum has been the highest level of international conference held by China since under the major initiative of the "Belt and Road" put forward by President Xi Jinping in 2013, gaining wide support from the international community. The theme of the forum is "Strengthening International Cooperation and Co-building the 'Belt and Road' for Win-win Development". The main events of the forum include an opening ceremony, a leaders' roundtable summit and a high-level conference. The opening ceremony will be held on the morning of May 14, followed by the high-level conference. The leaders' roundtable summit will be held on May 15. At present, besides 28 heads of state and government confirming to attend the forum, there are officials, scholars, entrepreneurs and people from financial institutions and media from 110 countries, and 89 principals and representatives from 61 international organizations also affirming their attendance. Among them, UN Secretary General António Guterres, President of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim and Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde will attend the roundtable summit at invitation. Over 1200 representatives will attend the forum.
Wang Yi pointed out that this forum will focus on achieving outcomes in four aspects. Firstly, pool more consensus. Documents will be issued on leaders' roundtable summit to further identify goals and principles for cooperation, and deepen the implementation of docking strategies. In the meantime, taking this forum as an opportunity, all parties will expand cooperation consensus, identify cooperation goals and specify cooperation measures. It is expected that China will negotiate and sign cooperation documents with nearly 20 countries and over 20 international organizations. Secondly, identify cooperation directions. All parties will negotiate and determine important bilateral and multi-lateral cooperation fields for the next stage, draw up cooperation plans for the next 5 years or longer, and specify the detailed action plans. It is estimated that relevant Chinese departments will work with their counterparts of relevant countries to formulate nearly 20 action plans. Thirdly, push forward the implementation of projects. Each side will further clear and align key cooperation projects, lay down project list of all fields, ensure the implementation of all projects, transform leaders' political consensus into execution for specific projects and translate the consensus into the practice of improving the basic necessities of life of common people and into the development focus of all countries. Fourthly, improve supporting system. China will discuss with all sides to introduce a series of significant policies and measures including completing and strengthening financial cooperation mechanism, constructing comprehensive service platforms in science, technology, and environmental protection as well as other fields and enhancing exchange and training of professional talents of every domain. Relevant institutions of China are discussing to introduce more supportive measures.
Wang Yi pointed out that at present, the foundation for global economic recovery is not solid, trade investment remains weak, and growth impetus is also unstable. There is an urgent need of upgrading fundamental infrastructure construction and connectivity among every country and every sub-region. Facing challenges, we need to pool ideas and talents to build new cooperation platforms, cultivate new growth impetus and explore new development path together. This common goal is just what the leaders of all countries and present representatives will strive for in Beijing this May.
Wang Yi stressed that China hopes to take this forum as an opportunity to create a more open and more efficient platform for international cooperation; to build a closer and stronger partnership network by following the principle of wide consultation, joint construction and shared benefits; to promote the construction of a more fair, reasonable and balanced global governance system under the concept that features openness and inclusiveness and win-win cooperation. China will maintain close communication and coordination with all present parties, ensure the complete success of the forum, push the forum for more fruitful outcomes, open up the new situation for international cooperation of the "Belt and Road" so as to elevate the "Belt and Road" construction to new highs.
Wang Xiaotao expressed some important early results have been yielded since the "Belt and Road" initiative was proposed over the past three years, which has become an important way for all parties to strengthen international cooperation and an important international public goods that involves and is promoted by all parties. The high-level conference of the forum adopts 1+6 model that includes a high-level plenary meeting and six parallel sessions. Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli will attend the high-level plenary meeting and make an introductory speech. Themes of the six parallel sessions are "Policy Communication and Development Strategy Docking－Innovative Mechanisms and Common Development", "Interconnection and Moving towards Prosperity", "Smooth, Efficient, Win-win Development and Deepening the Economic and Trade Cooperation of 'the Belt and Road'", "Establishing Diversified Investment and Financing System and Promoting the Belt and Road" Construction, "Jointly Build the Bridge of People's Hearts and Promoting Prosperity and Development", "Joining Hands to Create Intelligence Silk Road". The high-level conference plans to invite 1200 guests from home and abroad. The conference will mainly discuss and exchange ideas on 8 aspects, including infrastructure, industry investment, economic and trade cooperation, energy and resources, financial cooperation, people-to-people and cultural exchanges, ecological civilization and maritime cooperation, discuss the direction of cooperation, come up with implementation path, pool cooperation consensus and push forward practical results. China is willing to work with all other parties to promote a full success for the forum.