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‘B&R’ promote new mode of cooperation, development

Author  :  Zhang Yunling     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2017-05-31

Since Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the joint construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, the initiative has been well received for two reasons: For one, there is an intrinsic demand for new development ideas and cooperation in the international community. At the same time, the initiative is being transformed into actions and has achieved tangible results.

This strategy is more than a globally influential regional cooperation agreement and development concept. It is also a new platform for building a new regional and international order with mutual benefit and helping to pull the entire world economy out of the doldrums.

The Belt and Road initiative sets new goals for development and cooperation. The Silk Road Economic Belt connects China with many countries and regions in the world like the Central Asia, West Asia, Russia, Europe, Southeast Asia and South Asia through land routes.

The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road links the country with Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean, Africa, Europe and Oceania through seaways. Building the “Belt and Road” can open China to the world more deeply and on a higher level, help developing countries to improve their environment for development as well as inject new momentum and expand the space for economic growth of surrounding countries and even the world.

The “Belt and Road” is oriented toward development and cooperation. By building a cross-border infrastructure network, industrial parks, modern harbors and maritime logistics networks, countries and regions participating in the initiative, especially developing countries, can improve their infrastructure and promote mutual benefit.

China has accumulated rich experience in building infrastructure, including equipment, technologies and management. Also, the efforts of Chinese enterprises to go global and conduct negotiations with governments and enterprises along the route can invigorate local economies and upgrade their industries.

The strategy also enriches development connotations. The Belt and Road initiative promotes development through innovation. The innovation concept here is innovation in terms of cooperation not technology. Its aim is to optimize the development environment and foster new growth engines through sharing experience, resources and benefits, and the final goal is to realize inclusive and balanced sustainable development.

For the whole strategy, the connectivity of infrastructure is the priority while emphasis in this regard is placed on building the modern transportation network; trade and investment cooperation is key areas, with an aim to eliminate barriers and promote facilitation in these areas, which in turn will upgrade the industrial structure and create new development space.

Financial cooperation and connectivity of people’s hearts are the major support. The strategy also includes cooperation in fields like tourism, sports, medicine, science and technology.

The strategy innovates the model of development and cooperation. Right now, the world economy is undergoing an adjustment that has resulted in wider income gaps, unbalanced development, a slowdown of trade and investment, and rising trade protectionism. The Belt and Road is an initiative for cooperation, bringing about a new trend of openness, cooperation and development.

All parties included in the strategy are equal partners. Under the vision of equal engagement, joint planning and development as well as outcome sharing, not only countries and regions along the route can participate in the strategy, other countries are welcome as well. The initiative contributes to fostering the spirit of cooperation among countries and regions, increasing people’s sense of community with a common destiny, as well as advancing regional and world peace and prosperity.

As the initiator of the Belt and Road strategy, China should also lead in studying potential risks in the construction of this new cooperation framework and try to avoid them. It should also coordinate interests of different parties and explore feasible cooperation patterns. To this end, mechanisms for coordination should be built to form joint efforts.


Zhang Yunling is director of the Academic Division of International Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) and a CASS Member.

Editor: Yu Hui

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