Chinese President Xi Jinping briefed the press in Beijing on May 15, 2017 at the end of the Belt and Road Forum.
The first Chinese-led Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation ended in the capital, Beijing, on May 15, 2017, with over 270 decisions to boost inter-connectivity agreed by 29 world leaders and several heads of international organisations. At the start of the gathering on May 14, 2017, Chinese President, Xi Jinping, pledged more funding for the initiative totaling 780 Billion Yuan Renminbi (about 67,550 Billion FCFA).
Briefing journalists at the Yanqi Lake International Convention Centre, a lakeside resort on the outskirts of Beijing, President Xi said the Belt and Road Initiative, which was founded in 2013, will help to address major challenges facing the world today. He stressed the need to enable mankind become a community of shared future. Restating that connectivity will remain the main priority for cooperation amongst Belt and Road member nations, President Xi mentioned information-sharing and mutual assistance in law enforcement as some of the new areas of working together. In a joint communiqué at the end, leaders committed to give small, poor developing nations special attention to help remove bottlenecks of development and achieve effective connectivity.
“We will continue to step up policy on coordination of trade, economic reforms, trade investments and support the complementarity of Belt and Road projects and those of other international organisations,” Xi Jinping pledged. “Belt and Road is an open and inclusive platform that seeks closer cooperation and win-win ties between members,” the Chinese leader noted. He said during the two-day forum, China signed agreements with 60 countries; while a leaders’ roundtable was held – with World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim and International Monetary Fund Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, in attendance.
In depth discussions were held and broad consensus reached by the leaders; thereby sending a positive message to the rest of the world on the need for shared cooperation, Xi Jinping said. He announced the holding of the next China International Expo in 2018 and the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in China in 2019. Concluding, President Xi Jinping said; “We have every reason to be confident in Belt and Road as it is a long-term undertaking.”