“Today’s party representatives come from more than 50 countries along the Belt and Road, and we gathered here to promote the building of the Belt and Road,” said Zhang Yansheng, Chief Researcher of China Center for International Economic Exchanges, on the afternoon of December 3 when participating in the special group meeting on “Building the Belt and Road: Participation and Contribution of Political Parties”. The special conference serves as the starting point for the high-level dialogues between the CPC and the political parties from the rest of the world.
Zhang Yansheng said that each political party represents different groups or interests in their own countries, either represents different strata or different political views. Therefore, the communication between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and these political parties can also be seen as the exchanges between the CPC the different groups in their countries.
The key to the building of the Belt and Road lies in joint consultation and construction as well as sharing, in which process mutual understanding is a precondition. The promotion of any new initiative will not be easy, and this also applies to the Belt and Road initiative, therefore, the leading role played by political parties is of great importance. Zhang Yansheng believes that party members, as pioneers of the party they represent, should take the responsibility of cooperation. Communication is the only way to eliminate misunderstandings and only through understanding can we go hand in hand with our counterparts. This is not just a common aspiration of political parties, but also a requirement for party members.
The political connection promotes the people-to-people bond. Zhang Yansheng pointed out that while anti-globalization and trade protectionism are on the rise, the projects under the Belt and Road Initiative are steadily advancing because many political parties have done a great job in their own country and made significant contribution. During their participation in the overseas projects relating to the Belt and Road, many Chinese enterprises are delighted to see that local people are keen on becoming the employees of the project, some people even voluntarily escort the operation of the projects. The political parties gather the people together and the strength of the people once again brings the party to a higher level. This is a beautiful vision that the Belt and Road Initiative hopes to see.
Speaking of the future development of the Belt and Road, Zhang Yansheng said that from an economic point of view, the global economic recovery is sluggish but the cooperation on production capacity is precisely at an opportune time. For the countries along the route, they need infrastructure construction urgently. For countries like China, however, they need to cut overcapacity. The complementarity between them presents excellent opportunity for cooperation. “At today’s meeting, many representatives expressed that they welcome investment from countries with capacity advantage and indicated that the improvement in infrastructure is the cornerstone of the development,” explained by Zhang Yansheng. This means that China’s development concept of “good infrastructure leads to prosperity” has been widely recognized by many countries.
Finally, Zhang Yansheng said that China’s past experience of development made it believe that “Great things may be done by mass effort”. The Belt and Road Initiative aims to enhance exchanges and cooperation and seek common development. Countries should firstly take their own national conditions into account, learn from each other’s experiences and progress together. He is sure that this conference will lead the political parties in all countries to take part in the Belt and Road construction and embark on a new journey.