Chinese Consul General in San Francisco Luo Linquan on Monday told U.S. university students that China encourages healthy China-U.S. relations.
In a presentation on Monday evening, Luo explained the Belt and Road Initiative to students of University of California at Davis (UC Davis).
The initiative, he said, is a concept put forward by China but countries across the globe are welcome to participate. The Initiative aims to improve connectivity and align the development strategies of various nations.
"The Belt and Road covers a region that is the most dynamic and with the greatest economic potential in the world," Luo said. He was invited to UC Davis by the university's Global Affairs and Asian International Programs.
Along the corridor, there are more than 60 countries and regions, with a total population of about 4.4 billion and a total economic output of about 21 trillion U.S. dollars, which account for 63 percent and 29 percent of the world total, respectively, he explained.
It offers the most extensive coverage of an emerging economic zone that links the three continents of Asia, Europe and Africa, said the Chinese diplomat.
The Initiative is designed to uphold the global free trade regime and an open world economy, he said, adding that it would further encourage respect for cultural diversity and bring a greater application of information technology.
Since it was put forward in 2013, more than 100 countries and international organizations have joined the initiative, and over 80 others have signed agreements with China, forming a wide consensus on international cooperation, Luo said.
He noted that trade volume between China and countries along the Belt and Road amounted to about 1.2 trillion dollars in 2017, surging 17.8 percent year on year.
China invested 14.36 billion dollars in 59 Belt and Road countries, accounting for 12 percent of its total foreign investment, and up by 3.5 percent over the previous year, Luo explained.
He said the initiative is poised to improve the living standards of 4.4 billion people, more than half of the world's population. Citing Laos as an example, he said the small southeast Asian landlocked country will become a land-connected state, one better linked with its neighboring countries after an express railway is completed between it and China.
"Although the United States is far from the Belt and Road region, American companies, with their advantages in international operations, global resources, cutting-edge technologies and high level legal standards, are welcome to bid for Belt and Road projects that offer them tremendous opportunities," Luo said.
Speaking of the current trade dispute between China and the United States, Luo said mutual cooperation is the main thrust of China-U.S. relations.
"Both countries share broad interests and important responsibilities for global peace, stability and prosperity," he stressed.
He expressed hope that those in attendance would engage more with China and work hard to contribute to a healthy China-U.S. relationship.