Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed efforts to promote the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and advance opening up and development under the Belt and Road Initiative.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remarks during an inspection tour in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Wednesday.
The Belt and Road Initiative has been widely recognized in international society since it was put forward, which shows that it accords with the will of the people, Xi said while visiting the Tieshan Port in Guangxi's Beihai City on a rainy day.
"We will promote China's great opening up and development under the 'Belt and Road' framework, and further promote the realization of the 'two centenary goals,' and the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation," said Xi.
The president asked local authorities about the future construction of the port and the development plan of the entire Beibu Gulf as well as its opening to and cooperation with the ASEAN countries.
He also talked with workers at the port. Xi told authorities to better construct ports at Beibu Gulf and develop the maritime economy.
"We often say you'd better build roads first to become rich, but in the coastal areas you have to build ports first," he said. Xi also inspected a mangrove conservation area in the Beihai Golden Bay, where he walked through a wooden footpath to learn about the growth and protection of the mangrove.
He asked authorities to study and protect rare plants and better safeguard the marine wetlands.
The Belt and Road Initiative was first proposed by Xi in 2013 as a trade and infrastructure network to better connect Asia with the rest of the world.