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Belt and road countries will see economic upturn after pandemic

Author  :  ZHU YI     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2020-07-31


Xi’an launched the first China-Europe freight train service to Kiev, Ukriane. Photo: Tang Zhenjiang/XINHUA

The Research Center for the Belt and Road of Lanzhou University and the China Center for Contemporary World Studies jointly held an online international seminar in mid-July to discuss the economic situation in Central Asia and Western Asia as well as Belt and Road (B&R) construction.

Since the beginning of 2020, COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the world. Scholars who attended this webinar pointed out that China’s efforts on the prevention and control of the pandemic are remarkable and have contributed a Chinese approach to the prevention and control of the pandemic globally. At present, the pandemic is still spreading across many places in the world. We call for strengthening international cooperation in the fight against COVID-19, supporting the WHO’s leading position and working together to overcome difficulties.

Süha Atatüre, head of the Department of International Relations at Istanbul Gedik University, and Khani Adel, former deputy cultural counsellor of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in China, agreed that we should unite and carry the weight together to resolve common challenges facing the world. Khani also stressed that we must construct the community of shared future for mankind and strengthen economic cooperation to protect the multilateral international system.

Amid the continuous spread of the pandemic, the B&R’s international cooperation environment is facing new changes, tasks and opportunities. Jin Xin, secretary-general of the Belt and Road Think-Tank Alliance, said that the pandemic has brought a new turn for globalization as the virus has not blocked the cooperation between China, Central Asia and Western Asia but revealed new growth points. China, Central Asia and Western Asia should continue to bolster health cooperation, jointly build the healthy silk road, improve the transport capacity of China-Europe freight trains, maintain a clear logistic system, boost economic revival and development after the pandemic, and preserve a peaceful and stable regional situation.

Sun Zhuangzhi, director of the Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies under the China Academy of Social Sciences, said that under the circumstance of COVID-19, China has broadly cooperated with West Asian countries. Under the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, China has joined hands with Central Asian countries to carry out medicine and vaccine research and aid the resumption of work in Central Asia.

Sha Yongzhong, director of the Research Center for the Belt and Road of Lanzhou University, said that the “China-Central Asia-West Asia Economic Corridor” is fundamental to B&R construction. Countries along the corridor have formulated all-around, three-dimensional and multi-level cooperation networks and are expected to become important participants in the process of new globalization and the first places to revive from the global economic downturn.

Sha suggested that in the future, countries along the corridor could continue to strengthen top-level design, focus on solving the problems and challenges that have emerged in the process of constructing the economic corridor, and promote deeper cooperation at a larger scale and a higher level, striving to create a new pattern of regional economic integration and cooperation.

This online meeting has also published an initiative to jointly promote international cooperation in the prevention and control of COVID-19 and high-quality development in the China-Central Asia-West Asia Economic Corridor.

Editor: Yu Hui

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