Jointly Building the Belt and Road Initiative and a community with a shared future for mankind

By CONG PEIWU, Chinese Ambassador to Canada

A proverb goes, “Every cloud has a silver lining.” Because of the sudden outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, social activities have ground to a halt. But thanks to telecommuting and “cloud meetings”, people have not grown apart or reflected less on realistic problems. Not long ago, I shared my views with more than 150 Canadian representatives from business community on China’s economy and practical cooperation between China and Canada at a webinar organized by the Canada-China Business Council. At the seminar, entrepreneurs showed great concerns about how to tide over the rampant pandemic and pull the world out of the economic recession at an early date.

Global challenges require the joint efforts of the international community, and no country can cope with it on its own. As Chinese President Xi Jinping pointed out, be it in taming the virus or in achieving economic recovery, humanity cannot succeed without solidarity, cooperation and multilateralism. The right approach to tackling global crises and realizing long-term development is through greater connectivity, openness and inclusiveness. This is where Belt and Road international cooperation can make a big difference.

In the face of COVID-19, the cooperative partners of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) provided valuable support to China in the early stage of the pandemic. China has also reciprocated their kindness. So far, China has provided assistance to 122 BRI partners, sent medical teams to 25 countries along the route and shared our experience in containment, diagnostics and therapeutics with all countries without reservation.

Between January and May, the China-Europe Railway Express saw a 28 per cent increase in freight train services, and 32 per cent in freight volume. To date, it has transported 12,524 tons of medical supplies, serving as a key “cargo lifeline” and “bond of solidarity”. Chinese investment in Belt and Road partner countries increased by 11.7 per cent in the first quarter and trade with them was up by 3.2 per cent, generating strong impetus for the host countries’ efforts to beat the virus and revitalize the economy. China, together with Germany and the UK, has currently made new progress in vaccine research and development. The BRI is becoming a model of cooperation, health, recovery and growth.

Great eras produce great ideas. Facing the uncertain international situation, President Xi Jinping, with a keen understanding of the world development trends and an accurate grasp of the evolution of human society, has put forward a series of new ideas, propositions and initiatives such as the Belt and Road Initiative and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. These new ideas, propositions and initiatives have formed and established Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy. Embodying the shared values of mankind as well as distinct Chinese features, they capture the greatest common denominator among people of all nations in aspiring to a better world.

The experience of the global fight against COVID-19 shows that mankind has emerged as a community with a shared future that goes through thick and thin and shares weal and woe. Only mutual support, solidarity and cooperation is the right way to overcome the crisis.

Since the onset of the epidemic, China and Canada have helped each other, and the sincere friendship between the two peoples has moved me deeply. Canadian enterprises have advantages in infrastructure construction, medical research and development, clean energy, and digital technology. They have broad prospects in engaging in BRI cooperation in the “post-epidemic era”.

China is willing to work with all sides, including Canada, to make greater contributions to the international community’s efforts in responding to risks and challenges and achieving common development through the high-quality development of the Belt and Road cooperation and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.