The Belt and Road Initiative refers to the ‘Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road’ has its network passing through more than 60 countries and regions with a total population of 4.4 billion.
By Shifu A Wei
It is part of China’s opening up and reform initiative that has become a greater interest in the rest of the world.
The initiative was put forward by President Xi Jinping during his overseas visits in 2013 to connect Asian, European and African countries more closely and promote cooperation between them.
“Under the “Belt and Road” initiative, more highways, railways and air routes will be established, and Chinese regions will further integrate resources, policies and markets to connect with the outside world,” says Professor Wang Yiwei of the Renmin University of China (RUC).
Addressing Journalists on Thursday in Beijing, Professor Wang noted that the initiative is part of his country’s effort to industrialization and modernization, which they are ready to share with other countries.
“It will boost economic, infrastructure and human capacity development, and bring about much gain to the people,” he said, and added that concentrating on infrastructure and technology development will help a nation reduce poverty drastically.
“We want to ensure that globalization is actualized for a win-win situation,” Professor Wang told Journalists.
The initiative, he said will open up many sectors to enhance national development in each of the countries. He said the Belt and Road Initiative is all about helping mankind and the international community and it is not part of the existing relationship his countries has enjoyed with other nations and regions.
“We want to turn exiting bilateral cooperation to multilateral because we are sure of lots of lots of projects and people to people exchanges under the Belt and Road Initiative. It will provide solutions to so many problems faced by some countries such as electricity from one country to another,” the RUC Professor said.
The initiative has already benefited some African Countries, and the Chinese Government has assured that it will be further extended to others in the Continent. Africa, according to Professor Wang, has lots of resources and there are prospects for greater development. “Africa has lots of opportunities to boost industrialization. China is ready to help African Countries succeed through the building of infrastructure, training, shared values and economic boom for the benefit of the people,” he noted.
Trade and cooperation projects surged between China and countries along the route of Belt and Road Initiative during the first quarter as more foreign companies get involved.
More than two millennia ago the diligent and courageous people of Eurasia explored and opened up several routes of trade and cultural exchanges that linked the major civilizations of Asia, Europe and Africa, collectively called the Silk Road by later generations. For thousands of years, the Silk Road Spirit-“peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit” －has been passed from generation to generation, promoted the progress of human civilization, and contributed greatly to the prosperity and development of the countries along the Silk Road. Symbolizing communication and cooperation between the East and the West, the Silk Road Spirit is a historic and cultural heritage shared by all countries around the world.
In the 21st century, a new era marked by the theme of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit, it is all the more important to carry on the Silk Road Spirit in face of the weak recovery of the global economy, and complex international and regional situations; which prompted the Chinese Government to launch the Belt and Road Initiative.