In 2013, Chinese leaders proposed to join with neighboring countries to construct the Silk Road economic belt and the 21st century Maritime Silk Road. The proposition was called the "one belt and one road".
Over 2000 years ago, people who lived on the Eurasian continent explored several trade routes connecting the major civilizations in Asia, Europe and Africa, which were jointly known as "the Silk Road". With traffic means and technologies much inferior to nowadays, ancient merchants, sages, students and envoys, overcoming all difficulties, opened up and sustained the Silk Road. Countries along the Silk Road, big or small, all derived great benefit from it.
Today, Asia has become a major engine in global economic growth, but also faces multiple challenges. Asian countries share the comon tasks of consolidating peaceful development, gathering greater strength, and realizing an overall revitalization. Against such a background, the "one belt and one road" proposition is a timely initiative.
Being in the ascendant, regional cooperation has strongly promoted the peaceful development of Asia. But compared with North America, regional cooperation in Asia still has a long way to go. The disparate development and loose connections among subzones has greatly impeded further regional cooperation. The "one belt and one road" will connect Central Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, West Asia and other subzones together, so these subzones can exchange needed products, complement each other's advantages, and establish and complete the supply chain, industry chain and value chains of Asia. At that point regional cooperation in pan-Asia and Eurasia will have reached a new level.
At present, profound changes are happening in global trade, investment patterns, and fund flows, and the Asian and European countries are all at a crucial stage of economic transformation and upgrading. They need to further tap potential in domestic demand, create new economic growth points, enhance the endogenous dynamics of economic development, and improve risk resistance capacity. The "one belt and one road", which includes the construction of infrastructure and innovation of linking mechanisms, will improve the business environment, help with an orderly flow of production factors, optimize the allocation of resources, develop the inland countries and remote areas, and cut down trade and investment costs between countries.
The "one belt and one road" will lead to a new pattern of opening-up for China, realize the mutual development of Asian and European countries, form a tighter common interests network and accelerate the interests convergence of relevant parties to a higher level. Neighboring countries will benefit from China's development; for its part China will benefit from the common development of neighboring countries.
The "one belt and one road" is a highlight of China's diplomacy in the new era. People of the region and the world all look forward to a better future and their dreams will come true.
The article is edited and translated from《丝路精神，贯穿古今开新篇》, source: People's Daily, author:Zhong Sheng.