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China-proposed BRI provides solid platform for international cooperation: Symposium speakers

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-08-27 08:14

A logo of the Belt and Road is seen in Shanghai. [Photo/VCG]

DAR ES SALAAM -- The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has provided a solid platform for international cooperation, said speakers at an international symposium held in Tanzania's commercial hub of Dar es Salaam.

The symposium, with the theme of "China-Africa Vision: Towards a Sustainable Future," was held Friday to mark the 10th anniversary of the BRI, proposed by China in 2013 with a view to promoting policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration, and people-to-people bonds among all countries in the world.

Mussa Azzan Zungu, the deputy speaker of Tanzania's National Assembly, said the BRI has been another milestone in the China-Africa partnership that complements the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

"This initiative has attracted many African members of the FOCAC, where they have joined the Belt and Road Initiative family. This has indeed injected strong motivation into the China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership," Zungu told the symposium, which was organized by the Chinese embassy in Tanzania in collaboration with China Global Television Network (CGTN) and the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation.

He said the BRI presents an opportunity for East African nations to acquire financing and material support for infrastructure projects. "It is clear that, while many infrastructure projects have been implemented, the region still has inadequate railways, roads and energy pipelines, to name just a few," said Zungu.

Deng Li, vice minister of foreign affairs of China, said in a video address to the symposium that during the last 10 years, the BRI has grown in influence, scale and participation.

"It has become a popular global public good and a platform for international cooperation involving more than three-quarters of countries in the world and over 30 international organizations," Deng said, adding that China has signed BRI cooperation documents with 52 African countries and the African Union Commission in active support of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

Deng said China and Africa will work together to promote the peaceful development of Africa, move toward modernization and press ahead hand-in-hand in building a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era.

Chen Mingjian, the Chinese ambassador to Tanzania, said that over the past decade, the BRI has evolved from idea to practice, from blueprint to reality, and provided a solid platform for international cooperation. She stressed that the BRI has brought important development opportunities to African countries and built a new bridge for the China-Tanzania friendship.

"In the past 10 years, Belt and Road cooperation has mobilized nearly $1 trillion of investment worldwide, established more than 3,000 cooperation projects, and created 420,000 jobs for participating countries, lifting nearly 40 million people out of poverty," Chen said.

Joseph Butiku, chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation, said China and Africa share a common vision and a common destiny.

"In the course of implementing the BRI, China and Africa have to move together, using the available resources for the development of humankind," Butiku said, calling for the promotion of peace, unity and people-centered development.

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