Macau Chief Executive Chui Sai On will lead a delegation from the Special Administrative Region to Beijing to take part in the “Belt and Road” Forum for International Cooperation, to be held on 14 and 15 May.
The Forum will be attended by over 1,200 national and international personalities, with the participation of 28 world leaders, including the presidents of Russia, Indonesia, Philippines and Turkey, the Prime Ministers of Pakistan, Cambodia and Italy, and leaders of international organisations such as UN Secretary-General António Guterres, World Bank President Jim Yong Kin and International Monetary Fund Director-General Christine Lagarde.
The “Belt and Road” initiative, launched in 2013 by China’s President Xi Jinping, consists of reactivating economic relations along the Silk Road and the Maritime Silk Road through new economic development initiatives by countries and enterprises located along these two routes.
China announced from the outset that Macau should be part of the “Belt and Road” initiative, taking into account its relations with the Chinese overseas communities in Southeast Asia and its role as a platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries.
Although the published documents do not mention that the Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa and Europe are included in the “Belt and Road” initiative, high level Chinese officials and diplomats have always considered that the 21st Century Silk Road Route covers the countries on the eastern and western coasts of Africa, and Portugal.
In addition to President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Li Keqiang and the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (ANP), Zhang Dejiang, on recent visits to Macau, encouraged the Macau government to participate in the “Belt and Road” initiative.
The Five-Year Plan of the Macau Special Administrative Region also states that the government is studying its participation in the “Belt and Road” initiative.
In February of this year, the Government created the Working Committee for the Construction of the “Belt and Road,” which held its first plenary meeting this month to study the implementation of priority projects in the context of Macau’s participation in the initiative.
China’s State Information Centre (SIC) in March launched a website dedicated to the “Belt and Road” that can be accessed at https://eng.yidaiyilu.gov.cn/index.htm.