Belt and Road, a far-reaching initiative
BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE
Includes 65 countries and 4.4 billion people
ECONOMIC BELT ALONG THE SILK ROAD
A Trans-Euro-Asian project stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the Baltic Sea
The first “co-operation” refers to the discussion between the relevant parties that need to find co-operation projects that would have a common benefit. The second is to realize projects based on mutual interest. The third is to enjoy the fruits of working together.
During his official visit to Kazakhstan on September 7, 2013, Mr. Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, proposed in his speech at the Nazarbay University that China and the Central Asian countries build an “economic belt along the Silk Road” – a trans-Eurasian project that would stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the Baltic Sea. On October 3, 2013, Xi Jinping proposed a new navy Silk Road in his speech to the Indonesian Parliament during a state visit to Indonesia. Xi Jinping’s “Belt and Road” proposal is the most significant and far-reaching initiative China has ever had. It cause a great interest of the world media. To understand this initiative, we have to get to know better the world, China and the Initiative itself.
The Belt and Road Initative includes 65 countries and 4.4 billion people. This is the largest Chinese initiative and it is of strategic importance. It is well-conceived because the needs of the world, the reality in Asia and the situation in China are taken into consideration.
As far the needs of the world, given the global landscape, we can see three significant features:
The first feature is that the Middle East and North Africa have become the epicenter of riots, regional wars, conflicts and hatred. The Arab Spring in 2010 triggered a major political earthquake in this region. Numerous greats have been dethroned. In the Syria war, which lasts more than three years, more than 200,000 people were killed and millions were displaced. This war is still going on. The war between IDIL and the alliance against IDIL is frenzied. Some parts of Libya have become the hubs of IDIL in North Africa. We can not predict the end of the turmoil in this region despite the tireless efforts of the international community to combat violence.
The second feature is that Europe finds itself in the epicenter of the financial crisis. This crisis was created in the United States in 2008. The worsening debt crisis in Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece has moved the epicenter of the financial crisis in Europe. The European Union is still struggling to deal with the consequences of this crisis.
The third feature is that the East Asia has become a global growth center. Over the past three decades, we have witnessed stable and strong growth, which is why East Asia has become the most dynamic and fastest growing region in the world. Its steady growth is not only important for the whole of Asia, but it is also needed for the rest of the world.
When we look at Asia, we see that East Asia, which has about 2.2 billion people, continues to grow steadily. South Asia seeks to reach it, but Central Asia is lagging behind. However, the economies of these three regions are extremely complementary.
The Belt and Road Initative aims to promote the development of all three regions together. If we succeed, Asia will get a strong machinery for further development. It will be good news not only for Asia, but for the whole world as well.
As far as China is concerned, we see it becoming the second largest global economy in 2010. It is true that China’s economic growth is slowing down, but the country has managed to achieve a growth of 7.4 percent in 2014. The target for this year is seven percent, which is twice the world’s economic growth rate. With China’s growing potential, the international community expects China to provide more public goods and services. The Belt and Road Initiative, the Asian Investment Infrastructure Bank, and the Silk Road Fund are just the good things my country is willing to provide for peace and prosperity in our region.
How will we accomplish this initiative? President Xi Jinping has proposed three “co-operation”. The first “co-operation” refers to the discussion between the relevant parties that need to find co-operation projects that would have a common benefit. The second is to realize projects based on mutual interest. The third is to enjoy the fruits of working together.
The Belt and Road Initiative by its character is inclusive, and not exclusive. The United States of America, Europe, Japan and the rest of the world are welcome to join this immense enterprise.
Three “co-operation” means that China’s goal is not to benefit unilaterally but work on common prosperity because China’s development is inseparable from the rest of the world, and the stability and prosperity of the world is inseparable from China.
We strive for a more peaceful and prosperous world in the 21st century. China is ready to work with other countries to make our planet a better place to live.