Address by You Quan

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, February 9, 2015

You Quan, Secretary of Fujian Provincial Party Committee, addresses the opening ceremony of the International Seminar on the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative in Quanzhou City, Fujian Province, on Feb. 11, 2015. []

Following is the full text of his welcoming address delivered at the opening ceremony of the International Seminar on the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative in Quanzhou City, Fujian Province, on Feb. 11, 2015.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

As an old Chinese saying goes, "It is always a pleasure to greet a friend from afar." Today, we are honored to welcome all of you who are present here to attend the International Seminar on the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road in Quanzhou, an ancient yet dynamic city of Fujian Province. We gather here today to explore the values and significance of the contemporary Maritime Silk Road; to exchange ideas on how to enhance our cooperation and achieve win-win development solutions. On behalf of Fujian Province, the host of the Seminar, I'd like to extend my warmest welcome to all of you in attendance.

For thousands of years, our forebears toiled to explore the great oceans. Together, they created the magnificent Maritime Silk Road connecting the East to the West. Countries along the route not only forged trade links, but also realized cultural exchanges and integration, exerting a far-reaching influence on the civilization of mankind.

Historical records along the Maritime Silk Road provide strong evidence that China has been an open and generous country since ancient times and that the Chinese nation is inclusive and hospitable. The peaceful nature of the development of the Maritime Silk Road underscores that inclusive economic growth based on mutually beneficial cooperation and dialogue can be achieved. This is the best and easiest way to achieve sustainable economic expansion for all countries. In October 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping first proposed building a 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road with countries along the route. This ambitious blueprint enriches the old Maritime Silk Road and has received active support and enormous attention from the international community.

Fujian Province is known as the starting point of the ancient Maritime Silk Road in the Orient. From as early as 700 AD up until the present time, the coastal province remains the most active participant and observer of the development of the Maritime Silk Road. During the Song and Yuan dynasties – around 960-1300 – Quanzhou was reputed as the biggest port in the Orient; in the early Ming Dynasty around 1400 AD, Zheng He commanded expeditionary voyages to Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and East Africa seven times; and during the mid- and late Ming Dynasty, Yuegang Port in Zhangzhou rose to become the number one port for foreign trade in China. In contemporary China, Fuzhou and Xiamen were two of the five "treaty ports" opened to foreign merchants. The unique historical heritage and inclusiveness of Fujian culture make this province particularly advantageous for building the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road.

As an important pilot for China's reform and opening-up efforts, Fujian maintains close economic and trade ties with Southeast Asian countries located along the Maritime Silk Road. At present, the Chinese Central Government has designated Fujian as a core region to implement its 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road initiative. We are proud of this distinction and will draw lessons and experiences from our history, follow the development of today's economy and strengthen cooperation with countries along the route so as to make our due contribution to the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road initiative.

To this end, we will make the following efforts: First, we will strengthen connectivity over land, sea and air as well as information communication. We will enhance cooperation with concerned countries in port construction, logistics parks, collection and distribution centers, and innovating port customs clearance mechanisms so as to facilitate more convenient cargo movement and people-to-people exchanges.

Second, we will cultivate a diverse approach to trade – for instance, via the construction of the China (Fujian) Free Trade Pilot Zone, which aims to increase economic and trade cooperation with the ASEAN Free Trade Area. We are committed to vigorously boosting total trade volume with nations around the Indian Ocean, and will support domestic entrepreneurs' efforts to invest in countries along the Maritime Silk Road.

Third, we will actively deepen maritime cooperation with other nations based on sea-water aquaculture, commercial fishing, maritime technology and tourism. In the meantime, in-depth discussions can help advance ways to cooperate with one another in fields like maritime environmental protection, waterway safety, maritime search and rescue, and disaster relief.

Fourth, we will strive to push forward people-to-people and cultural exchanges such as the Silk Road Film Festival and East Asian Cultural Festival. We are looking forward to building an inter-city alliance along the Maritime Silk Road to strengthen our cooperation on education, culture, sports and medical services.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Mutual trust, equality of development, inclusiveness and win-win strategies are just a few of the invaluable legacies of the ancient Silk Road. Let us carry forward these precious traditions and encourage more participants to join this great endeavor of creating a brand new Maritime Silk Road in the modern era!

Lastly, I wish all success to this seminar. It is also my sincere hope that each of you will have a great time in Fujian!

Thank you!

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from