By Wu Yan, Guan Kejiang, Yin Xinyu, Xie Yahong and Qu Song from People’s Daily
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s remarks at the 4th Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) showcased the broad horizon of Chinese leaders and charted the course for regional cooperation on peace and development, representatives told the People’s Daily after Xi delivered the speech in Russia’s Far Eastern port city of Vladivostok on Wednesday.
What Xi said also infused new impetus into co-construction of the Belt and Road and pursuit for common development, the representatives present at the event highly appreciated his words.
“I believe Xi’s visit will lift China-Russia relations onto a new level,” said Boris Titov, Russia’s Presidential Commissioner for Entrepreneurs’ Rights.
The two heads of state, treating each other as open and sincere, share same or similar stands on many international and regional affairs, said Titov.
It testifies that guided by the important consensus reached by the two heads of state, China-Russia ties are running along a track of high-level development, no matter in international or bilateral sphere, he added.
Xi announced in his speech that China has set up a development fund with 100 billion yuan to promote regional cooperation with Russia, with an input of 10 billion yuan ($1.46 billion) in the initial stage.
The president pledged that China is willing to work with Russia on the fund management and put major projects into place, in an effort to build the fund into an important platform for China-Russia sub-national cooperation.
As a frequent guest of China-Russia regional cooperation events, Tivot highly agrees with Xi, saying both Russia’s Far East and northeastern China need to develop, and there is huge potential for coordinated development of these regions.
“It has been a dozen of years since last time I came to Vladivostok. I was surprised by the huge number of Chinese visitors here and the Chinese signs posted at local shops,” said associate professor Oleg Timofeev from Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia who also attended the EEF.
It rightly verifies the booming economic, trade and cultural cooperation between China and Russia, he told People’s Daily.
Timofeev spoke highly of Xi’s remarks at the plenary session of the forum that the cooperation between China and Russia’s Far East will embrace a harvest.
He explained that Russia places great importance on the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China, and its Far East region is taking its geographical advantages to open wider to Chinese border provinces such as Heilongjiang, and expand trade with southeastern Chinese coastal provinces through the ports in the Far East.
“China is playing a positive and vital role in the Northeast Asia cooperation,” Timofeev said, calling on countries in the region to strengthen dialogue, cement mutual trust and jointly explore the way of common development despite rising unilateralism and protectionism in the world.
“President Xi’s speech was marvelous, and I agree with his views on peace and security, deepening cooperation, and common development,” said US investor Jim Rogers after the EEF session. Visiting China for the first time in 1984, Rogers is now living in Asia and travels to China around 10 times each year.
“My understanding of China has deepened as I visited the country more,” Rogers told the People’s Daily, adding that Chinese people are diligent, hardworking, and well-educated, and they value savings.
The reform and opening up has brought profound changes to China, and also the world, added the investor who also encourages his children to learn Chinese.
He highly appreciates the Belt and Road Initiative, saying it has the power to promote the trend of times.
“Noticing the imbalanced development among different countries and regions, President Xi creatively proposed the Belt and Road Initiative to promote common development through infrastructure construction,” he said, adding that it would be very inspirational if the initiative is further implemented.