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The Belt and Road Initiative
The Belt and Road Initiative, also known as the Land & Maritime Silk Road Initiative or the “One Belt, One Road” Initiative, refers to China’s proposal to build a Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. During his visits to Central and Southeast Asia in September and October 2013 respectively, Chinese President Xi Jinping unveiled the plans to implement this initiative in cooperation with related countries. Based on five conceptual pillars – policy coordination, connectivity of facilities, unimpeded trade, financial integration, and strengthened people-to-people ties, the initiative aims to enhance connectivity and practical cooperation. It is about jointly meeting various challenges and risks confronting mankind and delivering win-win outcomes and common development. From the Eurasian continent to Africa, the Americas and Oceania, Belt and Road cooperation has opened up new space for global economic growth, produced new platforms for international trade and investment and offered new ways for improving global economic governance. Indeed, this initiative has helped improve people’s lives in countries involved and created more opportunities for common prosperity.
Since its official launch, the Belt and Road Initiative’s cooperation philosophy has transformed from a national proposal to a global consensus; its cooperation structure has transformed from a blueprint to a solid working mechanism; its cooperation field has transformed from infrastructure facilities to energy, digital economy, and scientific, cultural as well as people-to-people exchanges. More importantly, its cooperation vision has changed from building an economic platform to building a platform for a community with a shared future for all mankind. As such the potential for the initiative’s high quality development is promising.