It would be very unusual for an announcement of this type to be made before a significant meeting in the West with top leaders attending and speaking.
What does this announcement portend and why made now?
Keith noticed it in his regular reading of Chinese and Western media. Keith and I read objectively without, we hope, ideological prejudices.
First thing to note is this is coming from the Party – the Central Committee – and the Government – the State Council – acting jointly. It is, therefore, an advice, or instruction, from the Party and the Government to the Party and the Government. There are probably, certainly, many associated documents being issued that give more detailed meaning of this public statement.
The Western Division policy is under the NDRC and also manages BRI. So we can see in this announcement that the West is being lifted to a significant strategic level and that is to assist the BRI project, I would speculate. So if you are a major MNC, Government body , in the West or BRI, this announcement is a lifting of focus to the West, to the BRI through the West.
We could write much more but we just wanted you to see what we see. That Chinese focus is moving West, in China and beyond China.