SANYA, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Belt and Road Initiative will play an important role in improving global governance and countering regional risks, according to Chinese and foreign observers.
China will become an increasingly important player in the reform of the global governance system, and the Belt and Road Initiative will be one of its major contributions, said Wang Yiming, deputy director of the Development Research Center of the State Council, a government think tank.
He made the remarks at the Sanya Forum, organized by Caijing Magazine, which opened Saturday in Sanya, Hainan Province.
Put forward by China in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative proposes building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa, along and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes.
The joint construction of infrastructure projects has not only driven economic growth in the countries along the Belt and Road, but also helped rebalance globalization by "making a bigger cake and dividing the cake reasonably," said Wang.
In the first three quarters of this year, trade between China and countries along the Belt and Road amounted to 786 billion U.S. dollars, up 15 percent year on year, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce.
Dominique de Villepin, former Prime Minister of France, called the Belt and Road "a showcase project building a new type of regional integration" and "a unique chance for local and global stability."
Globalization has created a complex network of interdependency between countries, making stronger regional integration necessary in managing risks, he said, noting that the Belt and Road promotes political and cultural understanding by integrating countries from at least three continents.
The expansion of infrastructure in remote regions will be a major driver of stability in Central Asia as well as Eastern Africa, and economic stimulation will be a great opportunity to support long-term recovery in major economies like Europe and China, he told the forum.
"It [the Belt and Road] offers a new model of prosperity based on inclusiveness, sustainablity and balance," he said.
The number of countries, regions, and international organizations that have signed cooperation agreements with China on the joint development of the Belt and Road Initiative has reached 69, the country's top economic planner said in August.
The agreements have consisted of cooperation deals in various fields, including infrastructure construction, financial collaboration, and cultural exchanges.
Kent Calder, director of the Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies at Johns Hopkins University, said the Belt and Road could provide new opportunities for multinational companies.