Carrying Forward the Spirit of the Silk Road and Rejuvenating the Glory of the Silk Road

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Cai Mingzhao, minister of the State Council Information Office, delivers a keynote speech at the Silk Road Economic Belt International seminar which is held in Urumqi, capital city of Xinjiang, from June 26 to 27, 2014. []


Carrying Forward the Spirit of the Silk Road and Rejuvenating the Glory of the Silk Road


Speech at the International Seminar on the Silk Road Economic Belt

June 26, 2014


Cai Mingzhao

Minister of the State Council Information Office

People's Republic of China

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure to be here with you in beautiful Xinjiang to discuss the building of the Silk Road Economic Belt. First of all, please allow me, on behalf of the State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China, to extend our heart-felt gratitude to our distinguished guests and warm welcome to all our friends who have joined us today from different parts on the globe.

On June 22, the Chang'an-Tianshan Corridor of the Silk Road was inscribed on the World Heritage list, jointly submitted by China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. This ancient trade route that had connected the east and west and witnessed the mingling of different cultures will regain its former place of glory.

Xinjiang was a crucial link in the ancient Silk Road; time itself, in Xinjiang, has been engraved with the memories of mutual cooperation, trust and exchange between the Chinese nation and the many nations along the ancient Silk Road. Formerly Xinjiang was a place where Chinese civilization spread to the world; and where the myriad of wondrous cultures existing in countries along the Silk Road met and merged. Today, Xinjiang acts as a door through which China further opens itself to the western regions of the world, and will undoubtedly play a new role in rejuvenating the glory of the Silk Road and promoting its development in the modern age. It is thus particularly significant to hold this seminar right here in Xinjiang.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Last September, when President Xi Jinping visited four Central Asian nations, he proposed the strategic plan to jointly build a Silk Road Economic Belt. It has since been recognized that implementing the strategy will benefit all nations along the route. This strategy will connect both ancient and modern times, join both China and other nations, and embody a modern form of the spirit of the ancient Silk Road. The strategy will play a leading role in contributing to the cooperation and development of Europe and Asia, and providing a new road map for a better world built on the foundations of mutual development and prosperity.

As long as 2100 years ago, Zhang Qian, an explorer and a diplomat from the Han Dynasty, undertook two missions to the ancient western regions for peace and friendship, and thus first opened the door of friendly exchanges between such nations. This marked the commencement of the opening of a great route of trade running several thousand kilometers and linking Asia and Europe, a route that people from these nations had worked hard to maintain. For over a thousand years, the Silk Road had transported a rich variety of goods such as silk, porcelain, peppers and other spices, and fostered peace and friendship amongst the surrounding nations. The Silk Road witnessed the glories in the history and civilization of these nations. Today, against the backdrop of deepening economic globalization, the nations along the Silk Road are again becoming further closely bound with their interests more intertwined than ever before. It is because of such development we are increasingly becoming a community with a common destiny.

The Eurasian continent, as connected by the Silk Road, is home to nearly half of the population of the world and is a region full of vitality. Nations in the region have different social systems, levels of development, cultural traditions and religious beliefs, but they share a common goal: developing their economy and improving their people's livelihood. They share the same wish to deepen bilateral and multilateral relationships with the aim of mutually beneficial cooperation. To build a Silk Road Economic Belt and reinvigorate the corridor of trade and cultural exchange that had prospered for many centuries will better enhance the friendly exchanges between peoples of the surrounding nations, and promote a harmonious co-existence of those peoples, beliefs and cultures. Shared peace and common development will benefit the peoples of these nations.

The ancient Silk Road had turned the surrounding countries into good neighbors, close friends and amiable partners. As an old Chinese saying goes, "Neighbors wish each other well, just like family members do to each other." China always pursues friendship and partnership with its neighbors, and seeks to bring amity, security and common prosperity to its neighborhood. It practices the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness and works hard to make its own development benefit countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt. The Chinese Dream shares similar aspirations with those of the people's along the Belt. We hope our neighboring countries will benefit from China's development, and China will benefit from the development of our neighboring countries.

Ladies and gentlemen,

"In boundless desert lonely smoke rises straight; Over endless river the sun sinks round", this Tang Dynasty poem depicted a charming scene on the ancient Silk Road. The ancient Silk Road was opened and maintained by many nations together through great devotion, courage and endurance. The spirit of the Silk Road thus crystallized has been one of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, learning from each other and drawing on each other's strengths, mutual benefits and a win-win effort. The spirit of the Silk Road has been passed on and will continue to pass on to future generations. We should strengthen the sense of community of common interest and destiny, and look ahead to join our minds and our hands to overcome any difficulty and hardship, in order to regenerate the glory of the legendary Silk Road, which in the past had created great wealth and witnessed the friendship of many peoples. I am confident that the route will continue to be a road of peace, cooperation and win-win outcomes, benefiting the peoples of the nations along its way.

We should stick to mutual respect and mutual trust. Mutual respect and mutual trust are the prerequisites and basis of friendly cooperation. Nations along the Silk Road possess different modes of development, social and ideological systems, as well as diversified cultural backgrounds, varied interests and aspirations. Their differences in the path of development, in political systems, natural resource endowment and cultural traditions should be fully respected. Their concerns should be heard and addressed. By establishing mutual trust, seeking common ground and harmonious co-existence, we will together enjoy a long-lasting and pleasant journey on the new Silk Road into the future.

We should cooperate to jointly build the Belt and share its benefit. The development of a Silk Road Economic Belt is a great undertaking that will benefit billions of people. It will provide the biggest historic opportunity based in the common interests of the nations along the Belt. We should cherish and seize the opportunity, join our hearts, work in unison, do our best, maximize our potentials and make use of our advantages, so as to promote mutually beneficial cooperation within a larger realm, with a broader scope and at a higher level, and present the peoples along the Belt with greater outcome of the development in a fair way.

We should stick to learning from each other, drawing on each other's strengths and living together harmoniously. The development of the Silk Road Economic Belt will not be possible without the support and participation of the people and nations along its route. The understanding amongst the peoples should be vigorously enhanced, people-to-people exchanges expanded, cultural exchange and cooperation strengthened, and friendship among the peoples deepened. The media is the great distributor of information and communication and the messenger of cultural exchange. It thus plays an irreplaceable role in enhancing mutual understanding and friendship amongst the nations and their peoples. I hope that the media in countries along the Belt will focus more on the Silk Road and generate more reports on trade and economic cooperation and friendly exchanges between the nations, and disseminate the message of mutually developing the Belt, of sharing its benefits and aspiring to common prosperity with a win-win mindset. The media can make its contribution by bringing positive energy to the building of the Belt and providing a basis of opinion that links the peoples and nations along the Belt.

Ladies and gentlemen,

As magnificent an undertaking as it is, the Silk Road Economic Belt, from its strategic planning, implementation to fruition, requires arduous efforts over a long time and needs the joint input of wisdom and strength of all nations along its way. Today's seminar is a platform for more people to understand and participate in the development of the Belt, and for generating great ideas for this unprecedented course. I hope that scholars and experts present here today from both China and other countries will generously express their ideas and share their insights to these ends. Such wisdom will contribute to the building of the Silk Road Economic Belt and help to turn this beautiful blueprint into a reality.

I would like to end by saying that I wish this seminar every success and I wish every one of you a pleasant stay in Urumqi. Thank you very much.

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