“21st Century Maritime Silk Road”
during the Qin and Han dynasties (221 B.C.-A.D. 220), the Maritime Silk Road has always played an important role in economic and cultural exchanges between East and West. And Southeast Asia has always been a nexus of this interaction. On the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the CHINA-ASEAN Strategic Partnership, President Xi proposed jointly building a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road in his speech to the Indonesian parliament on October 3, 2013.
The initiative aims to boost CHINA-ASEAN maritime cooperation and forge closer ties in a community. It calls for joint efforts across the region and beyond.
Starting with the launch of individual projects that are expected to help spur a wider range of cooperative activities, it envisions a network of interconnected markets linking the ASEAN, South Asia, West Asia, North Africa, and Europe, and a strategic partnership for the South China Sea and the Pacific and Indian oceans.