China's Silk Road vision worth hard efforts

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, February 3, 2015
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Like the Chinese fable that tells of an old man that removed a mountain block by carrying away the small stones, China needs similar grit and determination to restore the ancient Silk Road trade route.

The modern version of this historic trade route, the belt and road initiatives championed by China, will see an economic land belt established along the ancient route, which stretches northwest from China's coastal area through Central Asia, the Middle East and on to Europe; and a maritime route -- the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which will stretch from south China to Southeast Asia.

 [By Jiao Haiyang/]

Since Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward the initiatives during his overseas visits in 2013, the vision has quickly turned into action.

China is actively promoting the belt and road initiatives as projects that will facilitate closer economic cooperation, and result in shared benefits and common development among the countries involved.

During a national conference held on Sunday, Chinese central authorities outlined nine major work tasks for this year, including consultations with the involved countries; construction of international economic cooperation corridors and ports; and infrastructure projects.

Such enormous tasks are not without their challenges, not least of which is reaching consensus among the nations along the route, which is dominated by developing countries, which have a combined population of 4.4 billion.

But against these challenges, China continues to champion its vision, reiterating that the initiatives will benefit regional and global peace, and common development.

In a positive sign, during Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's visit to the country last week, Pakistan said it was ready to jointly build the Pakistan-China economic corridor.

Meanwhile, healthy interest in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) -- which will finance trans-boundary facilities such as highspeed railways, air routes and roads -- will create more opportunities for cooperation. So far, 26 founding members have joined the bank, many of whom are important countries along the Silk Road routes, including India.

The caravans of old that laboriously traveled along the ancient routes may be long gone, but their legacy remains treasured not just for its past glory, but also for the united human effort needed to achieve a great goal.


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