President Xi Jinping underscored on Thursday the nation's commitment to deepening international cooperation on shipping affairs and making all-out efforts to restore and ensure the smooth flow of global industry and supply chains.
A US cargo ship docks at the Qingdao Port, Shandong province. [Photo by Yu Shaoyue/For China Daily]
In a congratulatory letter to the 2021 North Bund Forum on international shipping, Xi said China is willing to work with different nations to jointly tackle the current challenges, adapt to the new trends of going green, low-carbon and smart in the shipping sector and promote the industry's healthy growth.
He noted that the shipping industry is a key guarantee of the development of international trade and an important bond in terms of friendly exchanges among the peoples of various nations.
With the COVID-19 pandemic raging globally, the president also stressed the important role of the sector in pandemic response, promoting trade recovery and ensuring the stability of industry and supply chains.
The 2021 North Bund Forum opened in Shanghai on Thursday, bringing together over a dozen international and domestic shipping associations and companies.
They have jointly launched the Shanghai Initiative, which stressed the importance of unimpeded shipping and aviation on global supply chains and called for joint efforts to safeguard cross-border transportation to fight the pandemic, the application of new technologies and the adoption of green and low-carbon technologies to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.
Li Qiang, secretary of the Communist Party of China Shanghai Municipal Committee, said that holding the forum at the North Bund was very meaningful as it sits at the intersection of Suzhou Creek and the Huangpu River－two main rivers connecting Shanghai with inland waterways and the Yangtze River.
"Shanghai thrived on the rivers and the sea, and shipping is of vital importance for the city's development," he said, adding that the city has basically built itself as an international shipping center with the world's highest turnover of containers at Shanghai Port for more than a decade.
Minister of Transport Li Xiaopeng said the building of transportation infrastructure paved the way for China's modernization, and the development of China's shipping industry has attracted global attention with world-class ports and harbors that connect countries and facilitate trade.