In the past 10 years, the Belt and Road Initiative has become an open, balanced and mutually beneficial path for countries taking part in the initiative, a senior Kazakh official said on Thursday.
Erlan Kalin, state counselor of Kazakhstan, sent a congratulatory letter to the Global Conference on the 10th Anniversary of the BRI and the Golden Age of China-Central Asia Engagement, in which he said the conference being hosted in Kazakhstan's capital Astana holds special significance as President Xi Jinping proposed here for the first time building the Silk Road Economic Belt in September 2013. It later evolved into the BRI.
Kalin said that Kazakhstan is "playing a unique role in the construction of the Belt and Road", which has involved over 150 countries and 30 international organizations after 10 years of development.
Chinese Ambassador to Kazakhstan Zhang Xiao echoed Kalin, recounting the BRI's tremendous achievements. He said that China and Central Asia are friendly neighbors, who will work together under the BRI framework and jointly build a community with a shared future for mankind under the strategic guidance of leaders from China and Central Asian countries.
The global conference was hosted at Nazarbayev University, where the proposal for the BRI was put forward.
"Over the past 10 years, the BRI has developed from a sketch to a delicate work of art," said Qu Yingpu, publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily, adding that the initiative has become one of the largest international cooperation platform.
China and Kazakhstan have established cooperation under the BRI framework not only in infrastructure construction and cross-border transportation, but also in the opening of five Confucius Institutes and in the broadcasting of more Chinese movies and TV programs in Kazakhstan, Qu said. "The BRI has taken root ... in Kazakhstan, has blossomed into a 'flower of friendship', and is bearing the fruits of mutual benefits and a win-win approach."
As good neighbors, good friends, good partners and good brothers linked by mountains and rivers, China and Kazakhstan have been pushing for closer connectivity by vigorously developing road and railway transit and international land-sea multimodal transportation, he added.
Under the BRI framework, China and Kazakhstan have been actively engaged in enhancing production capacity and investment cooperation, having formed a list of 52 projects with a total value of over $21.2 billion, according to data from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.
Vladimir Norov, former secretary-general of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, lauded the BRI's achievements in fostering global cooperation across various sectors, including the Digital Silk Road.
Djoomart Otorbaev, former prime minister of Kyrgyzstan, emphasized the historical importance of the Silk Road to Central Asia's development and its transition from a landlocked to a land-linked region. He said he envisions a future for the region characterized by increased youth engagement and innovation.
On the sidelines of the conference, China Daily 21st Century English Education Media signed a memorandum of cooperation with DKN World News, aiming to enhance media exchanges and help promote connectivity across Central Asia.