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Applause for China's generous vision is heard around the world

By China Daily and Xinhua | China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-16 07:33

The Belt and Road Initiative has been welcomed and supported by the world's major emerging and industrial economies, as well as by international organizations, which sent high-profile representatives to the two-day Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing.

The forum, which concluded on Monday, hosted representatives from more than 130 countries, which together account for more than two-thirds of the world's population and 90 percent of global GDP.

Expected to help promote the common prosperity of the international community, the forum was supported by both developing and emerging countries, as well as the leading industrial developed economies, or G7.

Representatives from Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa - the BRICS organization - as well as other emerging economies, such as Indonesia, Mexico and Turkey, attended the forum.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the China-led Belt and Road Initiative was timely, as it promises to boost economic cooperation and exchanges.

Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said the initiative was perhaps the most important modern infrastructure project underway in the world today.

"Bringing the Chinese economy closer through this gigantic infrastructure operation is enormously interesting to Italy," Gentiloni said.

The United States sent a delegation led by Matt Pottinger, special assistant to the president and senior director for Asia at the US National Security Council. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Friday that the Belt and Road "is a major trade initiative" and "we're going to continue to work with them".

Toshihiro Nikai, secretary-general of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, led the Japanese delegation.

British Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, the special envoy of Prime Minister Theresa May, and German Minister for Economics and Energy Brigitte Zypries, the special envoy of Chancellor Angela Merkel, attended the forum.

"Britain stands ready to work with all participating countries to make the Belt and Road a success," Hammond said.

Former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, the special envoy of the president, said during the forum that President Emmanuel Macron supports the initiative as an effective way to solve the world's myriad problems.

"Macron wants to send the message to China that he supports the initiative. France is very interested in the initiative, which will develop Eurasia," Raffarin said.

Heads of major international organizations, such as the United Nations, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, were also present at the event.

Peter Thomson, president of the UN General Assembly, said the Belt and Road Initiative brings enormous benefits to all countries involved and serves as a major driver of the global transformation emerging with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said the initiative is a "most remarkable" drive to fulfill the aspirations of people in less-developed regions that are in dire need of investment.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said the initiative adds new economic flavors by creating infrastructure projects based on 21st century expertise and governance standards.

Roberto Azevedo, director-general of the World Trade Organization, said the initiative will help build an infrastructure network that facilitates trade.

"Infrastructure is essential. Lack of a proper transportation network is at the top of the trade cost list, and the Belt and Road is hugely important in responding to this need."

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