Source: Global Times Published: 2017-5-17
China`s experience of development will be shared with Belt and Road participants through cooperation projects, as experts said the initiative will become a historic trend which will turn the old model of globalization that only benefitted a few into a more inclusive and humanistic one.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang called for heightened cooperation with the UN when meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF), the Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday.
China is a staunch supporter of the UN`s authority and its core role in safeguarding world peace and security and boosting global development, Li said.
"We are willing to play our role on platforms such as the UN to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and make concerted efforts toward world peace, stability and prosperity," Li said.
"The China-UN cooperation will boost development for women and children in areas like healthcare in Belt and Road countries. It will help more countries participate in international trade and maintain a free trade system and an open world economy," said Liang Haiming, chairman and chief economist of the China Silk Road iValley Research Institute, a Guangzhou-based think tank, on Tuesday.
According to China Central Television on Sunday, China`s Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan signed memorandums of understanding with the heads of the UN International Children`s Emergency Fund, UN Fund for Population Activities and UN Conference on Trade and Development.
Zhang Weiwei, director of the Institute of China Studies at Fudan University, said that China`s experience in its rapid development since the reform and opening-up in 1978 would lead to success for the Belt and Road initiative, as well as its large and multi-ethnic population.
"China`s history is a process of integration between various ethnic groups, nations and civilizations, so its experience of governance and development is truly valuable and meaningful for the international community," Zhang told the Global Times.
The UN is willing to step up cooperation with China and match the UN sustainable development agenda with China`s development strategy to promote world peace and stability through sustainable development, he said.
"China`s cooperation with the UN must be project-driven. There must be specific projects instead of empty promises and words. Only if [we are] driven by projects can our cooperation with the UN yield tangible results," said Liu Zhiqin, a senior fellow with the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at the Renmin University of China.
The UN can be involved in providing consultation for Belt and Road projects, and can contribute to these projects while remaining neutral. The UN, China and a third independent consulting institution could work together to see the Belt and Road projects through. This model will shield the UN from criticism and manipulation by interest groups, Liu added.
China is a developing country, and the most important mission of development is to eliminate poverty, Zhang said. "China`s experience is simple, which is developing infrastructure. China has built the world`s biggest highway and high-speed rail networks, and lifted 700 million people out of poverty. This is much more effective than the West`s solution, which put democratization before infrastructure construction."
"This simple and valuable experience should be shared with other developing countries."
In his speech Sunday at the BRF, Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, said the Belt and Road was a "shining model for regional collaboration, development and growth." He hailed the long-term and holistic vision, and quoted a famous Chinese proverb: "If you want to get rich, build a road," and updated it to "If you seek prosperity, build connectivity."
Zhang said that test cases should be carried out before extending projects to larger areas as what happened with China`s special economic zones, like Shenzhen. "Test a new development model in a selected region, and if it succeeds, the whole country can copy the model," he said.
Many projects have started in countries with comparatively better economic and domestic political conditions to achieve higher success rates, which will serve as examples to attract adjacent countries, Zhang said. "Though it looks like the progress of the whole region is slow, the promotion of projects in the region will eventually be accelerated."
Liu Zhiqin is a senior fellow of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at the Renmin University of China.