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Xi calls for joint efforts to turn Belt and Road into path for peace, prosperity

By An Baijie | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-05-14 13:00

President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in the National Convention Center in Beijing on May 14, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

President Xi Jinping called for joint efforts to build the Belt and Road into a road for peace, prosperity, openness, innovation and civilization on Sunday.

Xi made the remarks when delivering a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the two-day Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. More than 1,500 representatives across the world are attending the forum.

The Belt and Road Initiative is "a project of the century" that will benefit people across the world, Xi said.

"Spanning thousands of miles and years, the ancient silk routes embody the spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit," Xi told the audience.

"The Silk Road spirit has become a great heritage of human civilization," he added.

In his speech, Xi announced to scale up financing support for the Belt and Road Initiative by contributing an additional 100 billion yuan ($14.5 billion) to the Silk Road Fund.

"The China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China will set up special lending schemes respectively worth RMB 250 billion equivalent and RMB 130 billion equivalent to support Belt and Road cooperation on infrastructure, industrial capacity and financing," Xi said.

The Belt and Road Initiative, put forward by Xi in 2013, aims to boost interconnection and trade between Asia and the rest of the world.

A total of 29 foreign heads of state and government leaders are attending the forum, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Other delegates include officials, entrepreneurs, financiers and journalists from over 130 countries, and representatives of key international organizations, such as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, and Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde.

Full text of President Xi's speech

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