Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation on Monday.

Heads of State from 29 countries, leaders of international organizations, including the United Nations Secretary-General and representatives from over 130 nations were present at the ceremony.

Since being raised four years ago, the Belt and Road initiative has become clearer and more developed. The forum has provided a platform for participating countries to exchange ideas and mobilize for more support, with the goal to seek win-win and common development.

In history, humankind has often been distracted from fully focusing on development. For example, though connectivity among countries is technically feasible, in reality transportation networks are far from being completed, and geographic factors are often not the only reasons for this.

The global economy needs new driving forces, and economic globalization needs new dimensions. The Belt and Road instills the world economy with new imagination. China has experienced an unprecedented wave of development in the past decades and the belief that various issues can be solved through development has prevailed. However, the world has been plagued by negative phenomena, such as stagnation, underdevelopment, unfairness and conflicts, from which China cannot be isolated.

For the first time, China has been an initiator and major driving force for an international large development plan. Is China leading the world? Frankly speaking, Chinese people do not think about it like this. We would like to see it as an international cooperation project in which China has played a larger role.

At the moment, national sovereignty receives most respect on the global stage, and the era when the fruits of development were completely monopolized by a few countries is over. As long as there is large-scale growth in the world economy, the benefits can be far-reaching. The Chinese emphasis on win-win cooperation has followed the tide of the times. The reason why the Belt and Road initiative shows such strong vitality is also because it is firmly in line with the logic of the 21st century.

In recent years, although some people have been accustomed to analyzing the Belt and Road initiative from the angle of geopolitics, they do not find much convincing evidence. The hyped-up analyses are gradually dying down. On the contrary, the positive response to the initiative is driven by rationality and reality does provide more reasons for supporting the initiative.

The Belt and Road Forum has got off to an excellent start, which is a good sign. The development and cooperation, considered impossible in the past, are likely to offer a new promising land for global governance.

At a time when the world has not completely recovered from the financial crisis and many countries are still unable to climb out of a trough, the Belt and Road initiative is obviously bringing hope and optimism. More importantly, its principles are so practical that all countries can participate in it. Both rich and poor countries can make full use of their resources by taking part in the initiative. Perhaps due to its solid foundation, the Belt and Road initiative has been rolled out in only four years. And the prospect of the initiative embracing the world is also within reach.

Global Times, People’s Daily/NewsGhana.com.gh