Belt and Road Initiative: A collaborative journey to modernization

China Chinese Ambassador Chen Chuandong
Chen Chuandong, Chinese Ambassador to Jordan. (File photo: Jordan News)

Last month, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indonesian President Joko Widodo witnessed the trial operation of the co-built Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway. The railway, when completed, will run at a speed of up to 350km per hour and reduce traffic time between the two cities from three hours to just over 40 minutes.


It was during his visit to Indonesia in 2013 that President Xi proposed the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative, which, together with the Silk Road Economic Belt Initiative proposed during his subsequent visit to Kazakhstan, constitutes the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).


Over the past 10 years, the BRI has developed from a concept into reality and was welcomed by the international community as a public good and a platform for cooperation. Inspired by the BRI, China has become the major trading partner to more than 140 countries and regions, and China’s investment has reached nearly $1 trillion by the end of July 2022.


The BRI meets global needs for infrastructure and reflects the common aspiration of countries, especially developing ones, to pursue progress. A World Bank study indicated that if all transportation infrastructure projects are carried out by 2030, the BRI will generate $1.6 trillion of revenue globally, with the bulk going to low- and middle-income countries. The BRI will also contribute to lifting 7.6 million people out of extreme poverty and 32 million out of moderate poverty.


The BRI adheres to the principles of extensive consultation, joint efforts, and shared and mutual benefits. It follows internationally accepted practices and remains open, inclusive, and transparent, as China welcomes all initiatives boosting global infrastructure building but opposes the practice of bloc politics.


China provides concessional loans with low-interest rates and long maturities to developing countries based on their needs. It focuses on economic growth and people’s livelihood to help them achieve a virtuous circle of capacity for home-grown development and debt sustainability. China has initiated multilateral financing and investment platforms, including the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Operating on “lean, clean, and green” principles, the AIIB has become the world’s second-largest multilateral development agency after the World Bank.


Therefore, the BRI does not throw partners into a “debt trap” but lifts them out of the “poverty trap”. And it is important to note that it is the “narrative trap” that maliciously discredits the BRI that we should reject.


Jordan is an oasis of stability in the Middle East and an important regional gateway. China and Jordan are natural partners in advancing the BRI.


Partnering on the BRI would allow the China-Jordan friendship to carry on from generation to generation. Over 2,000 years ago, the ancient Silk Road connected China to the vast Arab region. A key post on the trade route, Petra welcomed camel caravans carrying silk and tea from China and spices from the Middle East, starting long-lasting friendly exchanges between China and Jordan. In the last half-century, under the strategic guidance of leaders of both countries, China and Jordan have carried on the Silk Road spirit and continuously written new chapters of friendship by constantly strengthening exchanges at all levels, furthering cooperation in all fields, and entering a strategic partnership.


Partnering on the BRI, China and Jordan converge and complement each other in development strategies. China has embarked on a new journey of building a modern socialist country in all respects, taking high-quality development as the top priority, and working to foster a unique development pattern with domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other.

China’s direct investment in Jordan last year reached $20.24 million, a 30 percent increase from a year earlier, while Jordan’s investment in China grew sevenfold.

Jordan has introduced integrated reforms for political, economic, and administrative modernization, launched the Economic Modernization Vision, and passed the new Investment Environment Law. Our two countries are strong advocates and promoters of globalization and oppose unilateralism and protectionism. Jordan is also a founding member of the AIIB. China is ready to strengthen the synergy of development strategies and policy dialogue with Jordan, to give full play to our complementary advantages, create more growth drivers in cooperation, and assist Jordan in improving its infrastructure and industrial capacity with “Made in China” and “Built in China”.


Partnering on the BRI, China and Jordan enjoy broader prospects of mutual benefit and win-win results. In recent years, our two countries have made impressive achievements in cooperation in trade, investment, and contracting projects. According to Chinese statistics, bilateral trade hit a record high of $4.415 billion in 2021. It amounted to $5.38 billion in the first 10 months of 2022, an increase of over 50 percent year on year.


China’s direct investment in Jordan last year reached $20.24 million, a 30 percent increase from a year earlier, while Jordan’s investment in China grew sevenfold. Project contracting has maintained a growth momentum, highlighted by energy projects, especially those using local resources and new energy. China will continue to provide Jordan with new opportunities through its own new development.


This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Jordan. Over the past 45 years, our bilateral relations have withstood the test of the ever-changing international situation, and traditional friendship and practical cooperation in various fields continue to grow in scope and depth.


Taking advantage of new horizons of our respective second centenary journeys, and aiming at high-standard, sustainable and people-centered growth, China is looking forward to high-quality Belt and Road collaboration to unleash more potential for cooperation, create more mutually beneficial results to bring about more concrete benefit to our two peoples and usher in a better future together.


Chen Chuandong is the Chinese Ambassador to Jordan.اضافة اعلان

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