China says Belt and Road cooperation has not paused despite COVID-19
The "pause button" has not been pressed on cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) since the COVID-19 pandemic last year, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday.
Addressing the Asia and Pacific High-level Conference on Belt and Road Cooperation, Wang said cooperation under the initiative has progressed against the headwind of the pandemic, hailing its strong resilience and vitality.
Proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, the BRI comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes.
Wang noted that 140 countries have signed cooperation agreements with China under the BRI over the past eight years. The aggregated trade volume between China and its BRI cooperative partners has exceeded $9.2 trillion and Chinese companies have made direct investment totaling over $130 billion in countries along the Belt and Road, he added.
The BRI has become the most extensive and largest-scale platform for international cooperation, bringing huge opportunities and benefits to countries across the world, he said.
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