Deepening People-to-People Exchanges along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road with Fujian's Cultural and Overseas Descendant Resources

By CHEN, Shihai
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, February 9, 2015
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Totaling 15 million, the overseas Chinese hailing from Fujian are living in some 176 countries and regions worldwide. Now, the community of returned overseas Chinese in the province has grown to 4.8 million. They are all valued resources for people-to-people exchanges along the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road. Their businesses and organizations, and their proficiency and competency in speaking and teaching Chinese should, therefore, be rallied to underpin and enrich such exchanges. Greater efforts should be made to promote the Chinese language, Chinese cuisine and Traditional Chinese Medicine to the world. What’s more, attentions should be paid to the development of the cultural industry, with its integration with other industries such as, sciences, technologies and finance accelerated.

Deepening people-to-people exchanges along the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road can lay the foundation for ideological consensus, emotional bonds and mutual trust among peoples. To achieve that goal, China should export its products, projects, personnel, capital and culture as much as those it has imported, place equal emphases on governmental and non-governmental cooperation (through overseas Chinese), and conceive relevant activities on the basises of government intentions and foreign demands. We should particularly pay attention to the needs and demands of the target foreign countries.

The people-to-people exchanges along the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road are expected to enhance the competitiveness and international influence of Fujian culture, promoting Fujian tea, southern Fujian culture, Matsu Culture, Fujian cuisine and Fujian arts and crafts to the world with the hope that they could eventually rise to prominence.

Chen Shihai is Vice Chair of the Fujian Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese and Member of the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese. Having worked for many years on the exchanges between Fujian and Taiwan, Mr. Chen has been engaged in building liaison with overseas Chinese, promoting cultural exchanges and working in economic and sci/tech affairs concerning Chinese businesspeople abroad. He has written for Fujian Daily and other media outlets on the subject of the province’s cultural development.

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