Railways: A New Path for the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road

By Chen Xiaoxing
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, February 9, 2015
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The construction of the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road requires the connectivity of infrastructure, the key component of which is the railway. As an important mode of transportation, railroads are highly adaptable with enormous capacity, low energy consumption and a strong level of security. It will effectively expand domestic demand, increase employment and promote economic growth. There are potential development demands and broad cooperation probabilities in terms of railways during the implementation of the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative. We should build a railroad to bridge all countries involved in the Silk Road Initiative to better facilitate the exchange and flow of people, goods, information and capital. It will bring about a new growth impetus for regional economic development, set a good example for regional economic cooperation, and will become a model of mutually beneficial cooperation as well as common development.

To implement China's foreign economic strategy, financial support policy, and to meet the demand for regional railroad construction, we should build a new path for the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road based on railways, which is both the internal demand for regional economic development and the sure choice for Chinese economic expansion. With the orderly implementation of the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative, China needs to cooperate with neighboring countries on the construction of infrastructure. However, a lot needs to be done before China's railways can extend outside of the country. The support from the government, financial institutions and key enterprises are necessary to achieve this goal.

Chen Xiaoxing, born in 1962, received a bachelor's degree in engineering at Changsha Railway College (now Central South University). He is president assistant of China Railway Construction Corporation, council members of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the Chinese-African People's Friendship Association, director of the Nigerian Lagos Chinese Industry and Commerce Federation, vice director of the Association for Promotion of Union of Overseas Chinese in West Africa, and an advisor to China's Ministry of Commerce on overseas economic cooperation zone. Chen has long been dedicated to international economic and technological cooperation. As part of his 27-year experience working abroad, he was responsible for planning, designing, building, operating and managing China's largest overseas economic cooperation zone -- Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos, and Nigeria, and Nigerian Railway Modernization Program. He helped maintain a good rapport with foreign leaders, providing consultancy on the development of railway, port, industrial zones, energy exploration and industrial development. He received the Title of Sheik from the Nigerian Government in 2008, and was acclaimed as “Overseas Eagle.” He received the title of “Top Ten Chinese Who Touches Africans” from the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries in 2010.

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