Xi of­fer­ing na­tions ‘ride’ on Silk Road

Pres­i­dent urges proac­tive role in im­ple­ment­ing projects along routes to pro­vide a ‘sense of gain’

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By AN BAIJIE in Bei­jing an­bai­jie@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China is will­ing to give other coun­tries “a ride” as it re­news ties, via the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, with na­tions along the old Silk Road routes, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping said on Wed­nes­day.

As the sec­ond-largest econ­omy in the world, China should be “more proac­tive” in deal­ing with other coun­tries, Xi told a meet­ing at­tended by gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, en­trepreneurs and schol­ars.

The pres­i­dent en­cour­aged Chi­nese com­pa­nies to in­vest in coun­tries along the routes of the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, also known as the Silk Road Eco­nomic Belt and the 21st Cen­tury Mar­itime Silk Road.

He also said China wel­comes in­vest­ment from those coun­tries.

Ac­cord­ing to Xi, more than 100 coun­tries and global or­ga­ni­za­tions have par­tic­i­pated in China’s Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, and more than 20 coun­tries have worked with China in pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity co­op­er­a­tion in such ar­eas as rail­way con­struc­tion and nu­clear power.

The pres­i­dent urged the im­ple­men­ta­tion of Belt and Road projects to en­sure that the coun­tries in­volved have “a sense of gain”.

The ex­port of China’s pro­duc­tion and con­struc­tion ca­pac­ity could sup­port the Belt and Road coun­tries to push for­ward in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion and will help to sta­bi­lize the world econ­omy, he said.

The Silk Road Eco­nomic Belt is a land-based route from China through Cen­tral Asia and Rus­sia to Europe. The 21st Cen­tury Mar­itime Silk Road is a strate­gic route through the Strait of Malacca to In­dia, the Mid­dle East and East Africa.

The Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, pro­posed by Xi in 2013, be­gan to take shape in 2014 with a fo­cus on in­fra­struc­ture.

Xi has made state vis­its to a num­ber of coun­tries, in­clud­ing the Czech Repub­lic, Serbia, Poland and Uzbek­istan, along the Belt and Road routes this year. More than 30 coun­tries and in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions have signed agree­ments and mem­o­ran­dums of un­der­stand­ing with China on jointly im­ple­ment­ing the Belt and Road strat­egy.

As part of the Belt and Road projects, freight trains have made more than 2,000 trips from China to Europe and back on 39 rail lines, ac­cord­ing to the For­eign Min­istry.

Wang Licheng, board chair­man of Hangzhoubased Hol­ley Group, said at the meet­ing that the Thai-Chi­nese Ray­ong In­dus­trial Zone, jointly de­vel­oped by Wang and his part­ners in Thailand, has cre­ated more than 20,000 jobs for peo­ple in Thailand’s east coastal re­gion.

The com­pany plans to build an oc­cu­pa­tional school near the in­dus­trial zone to train more skilled work­ers, a pro­posal that has been wel­comed by Thai au­thor­i­ties, he said.

The en­tre­pre­neur sug­gested that the con­struc­tion of in­dus­trial parks abroad should be set as China’s na­tional strat­egy, with sup­port­ive poli­cies es­tab­lished to en­cour­age pri­vate com­pa­nies to ex­pand busi­ness over­seas.

Liu Wei­dong, di­rec­tor of the Belt and Road Strat­egy In­sti­tute of the Chi­nese Acad­emy of So­cial Sci­ences, said that through the Belt and Road strat­egy, China could al­lo­cate global re­sources and pro­vide ser­vices for the whole world.

Wang Yi­wei, an ex­pert on Euro­pean stud­ies with Ren­min Univer­sity of China in Bei­jing, said that through the Belt and Road projects, China could share its de­vel­op­ment ex­pe­ri­ence with other coun­tries as well as find new mar­kets for its pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity.

Coun­tries in the Cen­tral and Eastern Europe re­gion are ea­ger to de­velop ties with China to at­tract more Chi­nese in­vest­ment, and Pres­i­dent Xi’s state vis­its to the CEE coun­tries in March and June have brought re­sults, he said.

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