Editor's note: President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on May 14. The following is an edited excerpt of Xi's speech:


Silk Road spirit


Over 2,000 years ago, our ancestors, tracking across vast steppes and deserts, opened the transcontinental passage connecting Asia, Europe and Africa, known today as the Silk Road. They navigated rough waters and created sea routes linking the East with the West, namely the Maritime Silk Road. 


Spanning thousands of miles and thousands of years, the ancient Silk Road routes embodied the spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning, and mutual benefit.


Bearing rich fruit


In the autumn of 2013, in Kazakhstan and Indonesia respectively, I proposed the building of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, which I call the Belt and Road Initiative. 


Four years on, over 100 countries and international organizations have supported and got involved in this initiative. Important resolutions passed by the UN General Assembly and Security Council contain references to it. Thanks to our efforts, the vision of the Belt and Road Initiative is becoming a reality and is bearing rich fruit.


These four years have seen deepened policy connectivity. The pursuit of the Belt and Road Initiative is not meant to reinvent the wheel; rather, it aims to complement the development strategies of countries involved by leveraging their comparative strength. China has signed cooperation agreements with over 40 countries and international organizations, and carried out framework cooperation on production capacity with more than 30 countries.


These four years have seen enhanced infrastructure connectivity. Today, a multilateral, multi-dimensional infrastructure network is taking shape, one that is underpinned by economic corridors such as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor and the New Eurasian Continental Bridge. The network features land-sea-air transportation routes and an information superhighway, and is supported by major railway, port and pipeline projects.


These four years have seen increased trade connectivity. Total trade between China and other Belt and Road countries between 2014 and 2016 exceeded $3 trillion, and China's investment in these countries has surpassed $50 billion.  


These four years have seen expanded financial connectivity. China has engaged in multiple forms of financial cooperation with counties and organizations involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.


These four years have seen strengthened people-to-people connectivity. Guided by the Silk Road spirit, the Belt and Road Initiative participating countries have made joint efforts to build an educational Silk Road and a health Silk Road. Such cooperation has helped to lay a solid, popular and social foundation for pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative.


Five-point proposal


First, we should build the Belt and Road into a road for peace. We should foster a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation. We should forge partnerships of dialogue with no confrontation, and partnerships of friendship rather than alliance. 


Second, we should build the Belt and Road into a road of prosperity. In pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative, we should focus on the fundamental issue of development, unlock the growth potential of various countries, achieve economic integration and interconnected development, and deliver benefits to all.

第三, 我们要将“一带一路”建成开放之路。“一带一路”建设要以开放为导向,解决经济增长和平衡问题。我们要打造开放型合作平台,维护和发展开放型世界经济,共同创造有利于开放发展的环境,推动构建公正、合理、透明的国际经贸投资规则体系。

Third, we should build the Belt and Road into a road of opening up. The Belt and Road Initiative should be an open one that will achieve both economic growth and balanced development. We should build an open platform of cooperation and uphold and grow an open world economy. We should jointly create an environment that will facilitate opening up and development, and promote the establishment of a fair, equitable and transparent system of international trade and investment rules. 


Fourth, we should build the Belt and Road into a road of innovation. We should pursue innovation-driven development, and intensify cooperation in frontier areas, such as the digital economy, artificial intelligence, nanometer technology and quantum computing, and advance the development of big data, cloud computing and smart cities, so as to turn them into a digital Silk Road of the 21st century. 


Fifth, we should build the Belt and Road into a road connecting different civilizations. In pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative, we should ensure that when it comes to different civilizations, exchange will replace estrangement, mutual learning will replace clashes, and coexistence will replace the sense of superiority. We will also strengthen international counter-corruption cooperation, so that the Belt and Road will be a road with high ethical standards.


New opportunities


China will enhance friendship and cooperation with all countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. We are ready to share development experience with other counties, but we have no intention to interfere in other countries' internal affairs, export our own social system and model of development, or impose our own will on others.


China has reached practical cooperation agreements with many countries on pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative. We will work to launch these cooperation projects at an early date and see that they deliver early benefits.


China will scale up financial support for Belt and Road Initiative cooperation on infrastructure, industrial capacity and financing.


China will endeavor to build win-win business partnerships with other countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, enhance trade and investment facilitation and build a Belt and Road free trade network. 


China will enhance cooperation on innovation with other countries. We will launch a Belt and Road science and technology innovation action plan. We will set up a big data service platform on environmental protection. We propose the establishment of an international coalition for green development of the Belt and Road and will provide assistance to related countries in adapting to climate change.