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Chinese Embassy in Canada and Carleton University Co-host the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Conference
2019/01/03

On December 14th, the Chinese Embassy in Canada and Carleton University co-hosted the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Conference. Ambassador Lu Shaye and Benoit-Antoine Bacon, President of Carleton University, respectively delivered welcome remarks. Ambassador Lu also delivered a keynote speech. Diplomatic envoys to Canada from countries such as Russia, Pakistan and Belarus, and many well-known experts and scholars from China and Canada discussed the outcomes, opportunities as well as the influence brought by the BRI. More than 130 people attended the conference, including attendees from Canada’s political, business, academic and media sectors, and ambassadors and diplomats to Canada from various countries.

In his keynote speech, Ambassador Lu pointed out that as an international public goods provided by China to promote global economic balance, sustainable development and common prosperity for all countries, the BRI is welcomed and supported by more and more countries. Fruitful outcomes have been achieved over the past five years since the initiative was put forward. The key to success is the implementaion of the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. Ambassador Lu also refuted the misunderstanding and fallacy about the BRI with facts and data . He expounded that the BRI is not a tool used by China to seek geopolitical interests, and the so-called “debt trap” is utterly groundless. He also pointed out that the BRI provided important opportunities for Canada to achieve trade diversification and expand its market share in the Asia-Pacific region. Under the BRI framework, China and Canada could strengthen policy communication, promote trade and investment facilitation, and advance people-to-people bond as well as third-party market cooperation.

Alexander Darchiev, Russian Ambassador to Canada, Muhammad Saleem Charge d'Affaires a.i.of the Pakistani Embassy in Canada, and Dmitry Basik, Charge d'Affaires a.i. of the Belarusian Embassy in Canada, respectively introduced successful practices such as the alignment between the BRI and the Eurasian Economic Union, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the China-Belarus Industrial Park. They stressed that the BRI has played an important role in advancing local economic and social development, infrastructure construction, trade, investment, energy and people’s livelihood, and cooperation in related fields enjoyed broad political consensus and public support in their respective countries.

Ruan Zongze, Executive Vice President at China Institute of International Studies; Prof. Jeremy Paltiel of Carleton University; Prof. Jiang Wenran of University of British Columbia; Dr. Xue Li at Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and others respectively introduced their research findings from different perspectives, and offered advice and suggestions on better promoting the construction of the BRI. Graham Shantz, President of Canada China Business Council, introduced the opportunities brought by the BRI to Canadian enterprises. Many experts thought that Canada and other Western countries should get rid of the interference of ideological factors, and take an objective view on and actively participate in the construction of the BRI. During the question and answer session, the guest speakers interacted with the audience in an active atmosphere. At last, Minister Counselor Heng Xiaojun and Karen Schwartz, Vice President of Carleton University, respectively delivered closing remarks.

Attendees all believed that the conference, as a great success, benefitted them a lot. Through such information sharing and exchanges, and collision of ideas, the public can have a better understanding of the BRI.

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