“Belt and Road Initiative” links China with Serbia Poland Uzbekistan
(Source: Xinhua News Agency, 2016-06-26)
Chinese President Xi Jinping has wrapped up his state visits to Serbia, Poland and Uzbekistan, with the Belt and Road Initiative he proposed strengthening China's ties with the three nations that sit right along the ancient trade route.
The initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt that links China with Europe through Central and Western Asia by inland routes, and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road connecting China with Southeast Asia, Africa and Europe by sea.
The Belt and Road Initiative has been a focus of the meetings between Xi and leaders of the three countries that were among the first to respond to the initiative and play key roles in its implementation.
China and Serbia signed a memorandum on jointly promoting the Belt and Road construction in 2015. At present, Serbia is pushing forward re-industrialization and attracting more foreign investment, while Poland hopes to provide a gateway for China to enter Europe.
“Our cooperation on major projects is making heartening and sweeping progress, delivering economic and social benefits to and having a positive impact on the entire Central and Eastern European region,” Xi said in a signed article in leading Serbian newspaper Politika published on June 16.
In response, Serbia said it is ready to seize this crucial opportunity and play an active role in China's initiative so as to align the development strategies of the two countries, deepen their pragmatic cooperation and realize common development and prosperity.
In Poland, the biggest nation in Central and Eastern Europe in terms of territory, population and economic volume, Xi reached agreements with his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda on promoting economic ties within China's Belt and Road and Poland's Amber Road frameworks.
Xi also called on the two countries to make their partnership a paradigm of cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.
For their parts, Polish leaders pledged support for the initiative and commitment for promoting Europe-Asia cooperation, adding that the dovetailing of Poland's Amber Road and the Silk Road will play a significant role in promoting the security, prosperity and development of Europe and Asia.
In Uzbekistan, Xi and his Uzbek counterpart Islam Karimov vowed to jointly promote the initiative, and seek synergy between their respective development strategies.
While addressing the Uzbek Parliament on Wednesday, Xi called for building a “green, healthy, intelligent and peaceful” Silk Road.
Under the Belt and Road framework, a series of key projects is being carried out in the three countries, such as the Hungary-Serbia railway, the Pupin Bridge on the Danube River in Belgrade, the expansion and upgrading of the Kostolac Power Plant, the China-Europe freight train service, the Qamchiq Tunnel in Uzbekistan, as well as the China-Central Asia natural gas pipeline system.