Address by Jiang Jianguo

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Jiang Jianguo, Deputy Director of Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee and Director of the State Council Information Office,  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.

Ladies and gentlemen,


Good morning!

"It is a joy to have friends come from afar." This is a famous quote of Confucius, an influential Chinese philosopher who lived some 2,000 years ago. And this is exactly what I'm feeling right now.

Today, the Quanzhou Guest House is full of esteemed friends. The city is one of the major starting points of the ancient Maritime Silk Road. More than 200 distinguished guests from over 30 countries are gathered together here to review our past, discuss our future and explore ways to jointly build the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. This is an exciting event, and we are all looking forward to it. Mr. Liu Qibao, a member of the Political Bureau and Secretariat of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the head of its Publicity Department, will be present at the seminar and deliver a keynote speech. Now, on behalf of the State Council Information Office, I want to extend my cordial greetings and sincere appreciation to all the distinguished guests, and in particular, I want to warmly welcome our friends who have come a long way to be here.

In autumn 2013, while visiting countries in Central and Southeast Asia, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the strategic idea of building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. China has reached a new stage of reform and opening up, and the world is undergoing profound economic adjustment and integration. Against this backdrop, the initiative is an important cooperation initiative that the Chinese government proposed to the international community. At international events that followed, President Xi Jinping gave full explanations of the initiative, drawing a blueprint for cooperation and co-development between all the countries along the route.

The Belt and Road initiative received positive responses from the international community and the countries along the route as soon as it was proposed. It has become a hot topic for the foreign press, a popular choice for foreign publishers and an important research subject for international think tanks. Proposed not long ago, the initiative has already taken shape, and its influence has spread all over the world. It shows how decisive and motivated for action the Chinese government and its leaders are, and it reflects how attractive and influential the initiative is to the countries concerned.

For over a year, President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and other Chinese leaders have visited many countries along the Belt and Road, met with government leaders of more than 20 countries, explained the concept of win-win cooperation at multilateral and bilateral international events like the APEC Summit and China-Arab States Cooperation Forum and reached broad consensus on the initiative with leaders of the countries along the route. The Chinese government has implemented a series of policies to promote practical cooperation with the countries concerned, and the countries concerned have made vigorous efforts to communicate with each other and integrate themselves into the region. Now, we are ready to enjoy the first fruits of the Belt and Road initiative, and the people living along the route will join hands to pursue the initiative and enjoy more benefits that it will bring about.

Ladies and gentlemen,


With extraordinary wisdom, great courage and iron nerves, our ancestors opened up a long Silk Road across the vast ocean, which connected the adjacent countries closely together. More than 2,000 years ago, the Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD) sent Chinese envoys to Southeast Asia and across the Indian Ocean. They sailed through the Bay of Bengal, reached Sri Lanka and returned home successfully, opening a path for the adjacent countries to contact each other. Thanks to the long route, over the past thousands of years, the cultural achievements made by people living along the route mixed together and created new cultures, resulting in major progress for global civilization.

In September 2014, during President Xi Jinping's visit to Sri Lanka, the leaders of China and Sri Lanka reached an important consensus on building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and signed many cooperation agreements. As a leader of the press and publication administration, I participated in work related to the visit. In the Colombo National Museum, I saw a stone tablet with inscriptions in three languages -- Chinese, Tamil and Persian. It faithfully recorded the seven western sea expeditions of Zheng He, China's most famous maritime explorer who sailed to Sri Lanka several times and fostered peace and friendship there. The tablet left me with a deep impression. The ancient Maritime Silk Road is a historic bond of the countries along the route. It is also a witness of these countries sticking together and supporting each other through thick and thin. The spirit of the Silk Road, namely peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit, is the precious memory cherished by all the countries along the route. Today, the building of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road has closely integrated the interests and destinies of the countries concerned. We should spread the Silk Road spirit far and wide and pass it down to the next generation. We should also regard the spirit as our guidance on jointly building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road through consultation to bring benefits for all. In this way, we can create new prosperity of the ancient Maritime Silk Road. Now, I'm sure that all of you are eager to hear Mr. Liu Qibao's keynote speech on this topic, but before that, I'd like to take this chance to share with you some of my thoughts.

To carry forward the Silk Road spirit, we should build a solid foundation for political mutual trust. Mutual respect and mutual trust are always the most important between friends and between states. With different histories and cultures, the countries along the Maritime Silk Road are at different stages of development with diversified interests. This requires us to treat each other sincerely, respect each others' development path and acknowledge our differences in resources. We should expand common ground while accepting and resolving the differences. We should also enhance our political mutual trust. Only in this way, can we promote the steady, sustainable and sound development of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

To carry forward the Silk Road spirit, we should give new impetus for the win-win cooperation. Thanks to the Maritime Silk Road, all countries along it have formed a family of shared interests and destiny. We rise and fall as a whole. At present, we have entered a new phase of practical cooperation. We should stick together to promote win-win development. We should join hands to draw up plans, undertake projects and enjoy benefits. We should also create more converging interests and new stimulus of growth. In this way, the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road can bring us common prosperity and progress.

To carry forward the Silk Road spirit, we should keep faith in peaceful development. For generations, the Chinese people have strongly believed in the traditional idea that one should not do unto others what he does not want others do unto him. We believe that peace is the most precious thing, harmony leads to happiness, and amiability is the source of wealth. Thanks to the peaceful sailing along the Maritime Silk Road, adjacent countries have seen peaceful development despite differences in race, religion and culture. This has served as a fundamental guarantee for the continuous prosperity of the Maritime Silk Road over centuries. Since ancient times, China has been a firm defender of world peace. After its rejuvenation, it remains a staunch force dedicated to world peace and development. The Chinese people are willing to uphold human conscience and international justice with people from all countries along the route, and we are willing to make the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road all about peace, amity and harmony.

To carry forward the Silk Road spirit, we should reinforce the cultural bond between the countries along the route. The ancient Maritime Silk Road offered people a path to conduct business, promote cooperation and enjoy mutual benefits. It also offered a path for different cultures and civilizations to communicate with each other. To build the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, we should link both our roads and our hearts. We should also explore the profound culture of the ancient Silk Road and tap full potential of people-to-people communication. Through the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, people living along the route will meet, understand, trust and respect each other, and people in the Eurasian and African continents will stick together to embrace a better tomorrow despite the difference in color, language and creed.

Ladies and gentlemen,


The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road links the past and the future. It also links China with other parts of the world. Originally proposed by China, the initiative has become the common cause and aspiration of the Chinese people and people living along the route.

As a Chinese saying goes, "a nine-storied tower rises from a heap of earth; a journey of one thousand miles begins with the first step." The building of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road requires the participation of all. While governments and enterprises should take action to connect their plans and projects to promote physical connectivity, think tanks and media should further participate in the event and connect their wisdom and opinion to promote institutional connectivity. The seminar we held today is a positive attempt of connecting wisdom and opinion. I hope that all of you will speak your mind and share your ideas. We have been considering holding a seminar on the Belt and Road initiative at regular intervals, instead of holding separate seminars on the two issues. I sincerely hope that all of you will take active part in the upcoming events. Through broader and deeper exchanges, we will spread the seeds of the idea of the Belt and Road far and wide so that it will sprout, take root and grow in the hearts and minds of the world's people, and stimulate more people to participate in the great cause. We firmly believe that with a shared dream, common pursuit and dedicated efforts, we will fulfill all of our good wishes.

Let me conclude by wishing this seminar a complete success! Thank you!


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