Just as there are a thousand Hamlets in a thousand people's eyes, it is only natural that people may have different views about the Belt and Road Initiative. Yet more and more people have come to the view that the BRI is not a debt trap, nor a predatory quest for resources. Still less is it designed to create a closed bloc or sphere of influence. Instead, it is an initiative for peace, cooperation and openness, a platform for China to work with other countries to promote development, meet challenges and advance prosperity under the principle of pursuing friendship and upholding justice.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Many of you have been following China's development and know China's foreign policy well. As a career diplomat born in the 1960s who served in Russia, the United States, Kazakhstan and India, I have experienced many significant developments in China's diplomacy since the 80s. I witnessed the historic shifts in China's relations with the rest of the world and the growth of China's friendship and cooperation with other countries. The Chinese diplomats of my generation have direct and strong feelings about the momentous journey of China's engagement with the world in these tumultuous three decades.
In my posting in Moscow between the late 80s and early 90s, I witnessed the breakup of the Soviet Union, the end of the Cold War, and the smooth transition of China's relations with Russia. China successfully resolved the boundary issues left from history with Russia and several other former Soviet Union countries, making the 7,600-kilometer boundary a bond of peace and cooperation. China-Russia relations have enjoyed steady growth and developed into a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, contributing significantly to global peace and strategic stability. President Putin's visit to China last month, the first after his re-election, marked a new start for China-Russia relations in the new era. Under the guidance of the Presidents of the two countries, the China-Russia relationship is at its best in history, and sets a fine example for developing a new type of relations between major countries.