nal proportions. But nothing can obliterate the tangible benefits the development initiative has brought. In less than six
years, the nascent Belt and Road are already changing development landscapes in multiple places and dime
nsions. Thanks to the initiative, East Africa has seen its first expressway, the Maldives its first cross-sea bridge, Belar
us its own car-manufacturing enterprise, and landlocked Kazakhstan finally has access to the sea.
And while China-Cambodia trade may not look to be in perfect balan
ce at this point, Belt and Road cooperation between the two neighbors is laying a solid fo
undation for the latter’s future progress. Take the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone for instance. An exem
plary project under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, it is expected to host 300 enterprises, create 100,0
00 industrial jobs, and serve as a resident-friendly new community housing 200,000 people.
A slew of new policies aimed at encouraging consumption
in key sectors will be unveiled soon, China Securities Journal reported.
rcent year-on-year to 9.78 trillion yuan ($1.46 trillion) in the January-M
arch period, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). In March alone, retail sales went up 8.7 pe
rcent to 3.17 trillion yuan, quickening from the 8.2-percent rise seen in the first two months.
In recent years, the government has, on the one hand, frequently intro
duced policies to promote opening-up, increase import and improve consumer welfare. On
the other hand, it has reduced and scrapped import tariffs on some consumer goo
ds. This has played an active role in consumption, Lian Ping, chief economist at Bank of Comm
unication said, adding that consumption still is the key driver for economic growth.
More than 60 countries will send delegations to join multinational naval events marking the anniv
ersary, and over 30 countries of them will send major navy leaders to participate, according to Qiu.
Nearly 20 foreign vessels of various capabilities, including destroyers, frigates and landing ships, will join Chinese vessels in the naval parade, sh
owing to the world the “firm determination to safeguard peace and seek development with joint efforts,” Qiu said.
Organizing multinational naval parades is a unique ceremonial activity of navies, according to Qiu.
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy has been active in provi
ding security products for the international community since its founding, Qiu said.
The navy has paid over 100 visits to 94 countries and 138 ports, and has held more
than 60 joint military drills with foreign navies over the 70 years, according to Qiu.
Since 2008, the navy has sent 32 escort fleets, 103 vessels, 69 helicopters and more than 27,000 offic
ers and soldiers to escort over 6,600 vessels, more than a half of which were foreign merchant ships, he added.
Since 2010, the naval hospital ship Peace Ark has traveled to 43 countr
ies and regions and provided free medical services to over 230,000 people, Qiu said.