Belt and Road: Re­con­struct­ing and Nour­ish­ing Glob­al­iza­tion

China is striv­ing to en­hance open­ing up in all ar­eas and pro­mote con­nec­tiv­ity. By do­ing so, it hopes to pay for­ward the div­i­dends the coun­try has re­ceived from its re­form and open­ing up to fa­cil­i­tate the process of glob­al­iza­tion.

China Pictorial (English) - - Contents - Text by Chu Yin

China’s re­form and open­ing up first started in 1978. Re­gard­less of ups and downs in do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional sit­u­a­tions and fluc­tu­a­tions in the world econ­omy over the past 40 years, China has stead­fastly ad­hered to the path of re­form and open­ing up. In ret­ro­spect, it is easy to see that the more de­vel­op­ment China’s econ­omy seizes, the more open China be­comes and the more chan­nels to par­tic­i­pate in glob­al­iza­tion it finds.

In 2013, Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping pro­posed the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, which turned a new page on China’s open­ing up to the out­side world. Af­ter ad­vanc­ing steadily for years, work within the ini­tia­tive has pro­gressed from the top-level de­sign to planned prac­tice and now all-round de­vel­op­ment. In the long term, the step-by-step

im­ple­men­ta­tion of the ini­tia­tive will fur­ther deepen China’s re­form and open­ing up and in par­tic­u­lar up­date the mode of the coun­try’s open­ing up, fa­cil­i­tat­ing a wider em­brace to the world.

The Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive helps re­con­struct pat­terns of China’s open­ing up to the out­side world.

At a meet­ing com­mem­o­rat­ing the ini­tia­tive’s fifth an­niver­sary, Xi pointed out that the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive has greatly pro­moted the lib­er­al­iza­tion and fa­cil­i­ta­tion of China’s trade and in­vest­ment and made new ground for open­ing China fur­ther through links run­ning east­ward and west­ward, across land and over sea. The new pat­terns rep­re­sent not only achieve­ments of the ini­tia­tive over the past five years, but also the di­rec­tion of China’s fu­ture open­ing up. In the early days of China’s re­form and open­ing up, lim­i­ta­tions in terms of nat­u­ral re­sources, ge­o­graph­i­cal con­di­tion, eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment level and in­dus­trial dis­tri­bu­tion caused China’s western and cen­tral parts to se­verely lag be­hind the eastern re­gions in terms of the de­gree of open­ness. So, con­nec­tiv­ity of in­fra­struc­ture, which is un­der­lined by the ini­tia­tive, plays a key role in solv­ing this im­bal­ance. Ad­vance­ment of the ini­tia­tive, led by in­fras­truc­tural links, will open a chan­nel from China’s western and cen­tral re­gions to cen­tral Asian coun­tries, pro­mot­ing a smooth flow of trade, cap­i­tal and per­son­nel, which can help bal­ance China’s var­i­ous re­gions in the de­gree of open­ness to the out­side world.

The Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive rep­re­sents an up­graded ver­sion of China’s open­ing up to the out­side world.

Over the past five years since the ini­tia­tive was pro­posed, trade in goods be­tween China and other coun­tries along the Belt and Road routes has amounted to US$5 tril­lion ac­cu­mu­la­tively, while China’s out­ward for­eign di­rect in­vest­ments in those coun­tries have ex­ceeded US$60 bil­lion. Com­pared to 40 years ago when China merely earned for­eign ex­change from ex­ports, the coun­try’s open­ing up has now been largely in­de­pen­dent from ex­ported com­modi­ties. Es­pe­cially since the in­tro­duc­tion of the prin­ci­ples of “pol­icy co­or­di­na­tion, in­fra­struc­ture con­nec­tiv­ity, unim­peded trade, fi­nan­cial in­te­gra­tion and closer peo­ple-to-peo­ple ties,” China has trans­formed from a sim­ple ex­porter to the global nexus as it has be­come more closely con­nected to the world in var­i­ous ways. More im­por­tantly, af­ter 40 years of re­form and open­ing up, China has evolved from a “world fac­tory” to a “world mar­ket.” The enor­mous mar­ket of 1.3 bil­lion con­sumers pro­vides coun­tries along the Belt and Road routes and even the world with his­toric chances to ex­pand ex­port and in­vest­ment to China.

The Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive has re­designed the con­cept of China’s open­ing up to the out­side world.

On many oc­ca­sions, Xi has em­pha­sized that the ini­tia­tive does not aim at a geopo­lit­i­cal or mil­i­tary al­liance, nor will it es­tab­lish a small bloc or set up a “China club.” Over the past five years, the ini­tia­tive has achieved fruit­ful re­sults, which ev­i­dences that China’s on­go­ing re­form has un­der­gone a par­a­digm shift and idea re­con­struc­tion. More than en­cour­ag­ing eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion, the ini­tia­tive serves as an im­por­tant path to im­prove global growth modes and gov­er­nance as well as pro­mote the healthy de­vel­op­ment of eco­nomic glob­al­iza­tion.

With in­creas­ing in­fras­truc­tural con­nec­tiv­ity, China will en­gage in greater eco­nomic and trade com­mu­ni­ca­tion, wider pol­icy co­or­di­na­tion and more solid strate­gic align­ment. The Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive will no doubt tighten the con­nec­tion be­tween China and the world. In con­trast with the past, China now has the abil­ity to of­fer orig­i­nal pro­grams such as rail­way con­struc­tion, cross-bor­der e- com­merce plat­forms like Tmall Global, world­wide lo­gis­tics net­works such as Cainiao Global Lo­gis­tics and mo­bile pay­ment ti­tans like Alipay. China is striv­ing to en­hance open­ing up in all ar­eas and pro­mote con­nec­tiv­ity. By do­ing so, it hopes to pay for­ward the div­i­dends the coun­try re­ceived from its re­form and open­ing up to fa­cil­i­tate the process of glob­al­iza­tion.

2007: For­eign vis­i­tors board a clas­si­cal-style train in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province. As a Chi­nese ter­mi­nus of the Silk Road Eco­nomic Belt, the city is now linked with many other cities and towns by high-speed rails. CFB

Novem­ber 18, 2018: At Cam­bridge Univer­sity, Philip Rose- Neil (right), mem­ber of the Gov­ern­ing Board of the Bri­tish Acupunc­ture Coun­cil, and Ma Boy­ing, chair­man of the Fed­er­a­tion of Tra­di­tional Chi­nese Medicine in the UK, talk near an an­cient wooden dummy used for prac­tic­ing acupunc­ture. A cam­paign was held there to pro­mote com­mu­ni­ca­tion on tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine and acupunc­ture along the Belt and Road routes. VCG

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