Homeland of the Silk Road
The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation will be held in Beijing on May 14 and 15, putting a global spotlight on the Belt and Road Initiative and Beijing, China. When the Silk Road originated in ancient China, it was divided into the Silk Road on Land and the Maritime Silk Road for their transport methods. As an ancient commercial and trade route that links Asia, Africa and Europe, it bridges economic, political, and cultural communications between East and West. For two millennia, people from countries along the route have joined hands to realise an integrated development in economy, culture and art, established friendships, and created a glorious civilisation and rich cultural legacy. With fertile land and heavenly oases, boundless sea and homeland, abundant products and flourishing culture have witnessed the Silk Road’s long history and its friendly exchanges among people of different countries.
On September 7, 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping gave a speech at Kazakhstan’s Nazarbayev University, calling for the joint building of the “Silk Road Economic Belt”; in October of the same year, Xi visited the ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) and proposed the “21st-century Maritime Silk Road.” The two constitute the Belt and Road Initiative and has become China’s national strategy. After receiving extensive response from countries along the Belt and Road, the ideal of peaceful and coordinated development through consultations is in line with interests of those and wins recognition from them. From idea to implementation, the Belt and Road Initiative is advancing in its construction, improving in development, and growing in cooperation. The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation aims to discuss ways to boost cooperation, build platforms and share beneficial outcomes, while exploring ways to address problems facing global and regional economies, create fresh energy for pursuing interconnected development and give the Belt and Road Initiative influence in delivering greater benefits to people of all countries.
The Silk Road is not only a trade route, but represents a spirit. As a platform for cultural and social communications, multiple nationalities, ethnic groups, religions and cultures have converged. Countries, regardless of their religion or culture, enjoy peace and development. The Silk Road Spirit— “peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit”—has been formed during centuries of exchanges and has been passed from generation to generation.
Beijing has made concrete actions to put the Belt and Road Initiative into practice. For three years, it has been dedicated to transforming itself into a foreign exchange platform by strengthening its international exchange, a cultural exchange platform by relying on its cultural resources, a scientific and technological platform by implementing an innovation-driven development strategy, and a service support platform by enlarging its service industry. Enterprises have promoted Beijing brands such as the “intelligent manufacturing in Beijing” and “Beijing service” to go global and demonstrated Beijing’s strength to the world.
The Silk Road has delivered outcomes to countries involved for several centuries. Today, the route has become a beautiful homeland shared by everyone, and Chinese and people in other countries are looking forward to a brighter future brought by the Belt and Road Initiative. (