Promoting the “Belt and Road” Initiative through the World Expo Platform
The world expo is a large and high-level exhibition designed to showcase global economic, social and cultural achievements. It is also an important platform to display a country’s national image, improve soft power and enhance multilateral communications and cooperation. The Expo 2017 is scheduled to take place between June 10 and September 10, 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan. About 115 countries and 20 international organizations are expected to participate in the first expo to be held in Central Asia. The theme chosen for Expo 2017 is “Future Energy”, aiming to concentrate on new energy exploration and the most efficient, practical and sustainable energy solutions. Around five million people from all over the world are expected to visit the international pavilions at the expo.
Kazakhstan is one of China’s friendly neighbors, a comprehensive strategic partner and an important participant in the “Belt and Road” initiative. It was in Kazakhstan where Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed to build the Silk Road Economic Belt back in September 2013. The recent years have seen the rapid development of the two country’s bilateral relationship, with more frequent reciprocal visits of senior officials and enhancements of mutual trust and cooperation. China’s proposal to build the Silk Road Economic Belt is well connected with Kazakhstan’s “Bright Road” economic plan and the potential for bilateral cooperation was further unleashed. Also, the “Belt and Road” initiative has entered a new phase of “deep integration and mutual promotion”. The year 2017 is the 25th anniversary of China-kazakhstan diplomatic ties and the Year of Chinese Tourism in Kazakhstan. China’s deep involvement in the Expo 2017 will undoubtedly further enhance the strategic partnership between the two countries.
Globally, international energ y supply and demand are undergoing big adjustments; a new round of energy technology reform is emerging and developing fast and a global energy governance mechanism is taking shape. Chinese President Xi Jinping said at the opening ceremony of the “Belt and Road” Forum for International Cooperation that it is imperative to grasp the trend of energy structural adjustment and technology reform, to build a global energy network and develop green and lowcarbon energy solutions. China is a large energy producer and consumer and its energy development is closely connected with the world energy industry. China will actively promote the improvement of energy production and consumption, grasp the great opportunities of the “Belt and Road” initiative, develop energy infrastructural connectivity, deeply integrate with the global energy system and make larger contributions to global energy development.
Th e Ch i n e s e g o v e r nme nt is supportive of the Expo 2017 to be held in Astana and pays high attention to China’s exhibition preparation. Many local governments and companies intend to use the expo platform to promote international communication and cooperation. The Expo 2017 will see the participation of the largest number of Chinese provinces, cities and companies. The China Pavilion will cover an area of 1,000 square meters, making it the largest foreign pavilion at the expo. The China Pavilion will have a theme of “Future Energy and Green Silk Road”, and will focus on the promotion of the Silk Road spirit featuring peace and cooperat ion, opening- up and inclusiveness, mutual learning and trust,
and the enhancement of bilateral cooperation, to bolster the development of the “Belt and Road” initiative. Colorful activities will be held and innovative exhibition techniques and attractive themed videos will be displayed during the event.
The first is to illustrate China’s green development concept. Green is a necessary condition for sustainable development and reflects people’s demands for beautiful lives. China Pavilion will follow the theme of “The Past, Today and Future” and use simple and international exhibition approaches to promote China’s concepts in modernizing its energy sector, utilizing renewable, protecting the environment and advancing sustainable economic development. It will also advocate the green, low- carbon, recyclable and sustainable way of life, advance the green development and ecological concepts and promote countries of the world to build a green Silk Road.
The second aspect is to showcase China’s achievements in innovative development. Innovation is an important force to promote development and will also determine the future of energy. The China Pavilion will highlight nuclear fusion, high-speed railway simulated cockpit and future energy dream work, to combine physical model with visual images and VR techniques to display the extra-high voltage technologies of State Grid, the Hualong pressurized reactor of CNNC and CGN, CO2 capture and sequestration and energy utilization efficiency practices by CNPC. These innovative technologies will further highlight China’s responsibilities and achievements in the transition and innovation of its energy sector.
The third is to advance cooperation of energy and international capacities. Energy and international capacity cooperation is an important part of the “Belt and Road” initiative. The China Pavilion will host the China- Kazakhstan Energy Cooperation Forum and other activities. It will organize for 23 provinces’ representatives and about 1,000 energy companies’ representatives to visit Kazakhstan and organize public conferences to increase trade and investment cooperation and infrastructural facility connectivity among countries in the region. The final goal is to create a win-win situation for the world.
The fourth is to build a platform to promote Chinese culture. Cultural communication is key to people connectivity. The China Pavilion will host the ChinaKazakhstan Tourism Cooperation Forum, a Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses Exhibition, thousands of art performances and exhibitions of intangible cultural heritage and cultural relics. It will tell Chinese stories through various cultural means, such as martial arts, Peking opera, lion dancing, tea ceremonies and traditional embroidery, to enhance foreign understanding of China’s economic and cultural developments and consolidate public opinion of the “Belt and Road” initiative. Young people have become major force of developing mutual friendship and we will choose 42 young volunteers from 10 universities to participate into the event and promote the bilateral friendship.
Under the globalization background, to promote the “Belt and Road” initiative and green development goals carries forward the historical culture and draws a blueprint for future development. During the 93 days of the Expo, China will work with world governments to explore future energy solutions, an issue key to the survival and development of mankind, share the advanced technologies and experiences, discuss the world energy security issues and make fresh contributions to the human civilizations.