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"One Belt and One Road" to further boost the rise of China

2015-05-25 01:00:17

  

What Is "One Belt and One Road"?

  

"One Belt" refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt, which begins in Xi'an in northwest Chinabefore stretching west through Urumqi to Central Asia. According to a report by CCTV.com, the road" then goes to northern Iranbefore swinging west through Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. From Istanbul, it crosses the Bosphorus Strait and heads northwest through Europe, including Germany and Netherlands. It then heads south to Venice, Italy."

  

The other part of the plan is the so-called 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which begins in southern China and heads to the Malacca Strait in Southeast Asia. It then goes to include countries such as India and Kenya. The Maritime Silk Road moves on north to enter into the Red Sea and the Mediterranean through Horn of Africa. It meets the land-based Silk Road in Venice.

  

Challenges China Faces

  

The plan is ambitious, even forChina,the second largest economy in the globe, and thus multiple challenges are expected in its implementation.

  

For one thing, Chinese companies lack experience in investing overseas. A few of them are doing investment in other countries, but with mixed results. Professor Huang Yiping from Peking University warned last year that "Chinahas become the third-largest direct investing country, but more than half of its deals do not provide financial returns."

  

Japanese companies were seen "purchasing the world" in 1980s in a booming period of investing abroad due to the rise of labor costs domestically and the appreciation of yen. But that trend didn't last long. Chinese companies have to learn from that lesson to avoid potential pitfalls ahead.

  

Also,Chinawill deal with more than 50 countries - the number of countries that so far have expressed interest in the plan. Those countries are of different sizes, political systems and expectations. It requires tremendous amount of diplomatic work to achieve tangible agreements and consensus to projects specific to those countries.

  

Principles China Follows

  

China seems to have a rather good understanding on how to proceed with such a grand scheme involving some 4.4 billion people, or 63 percent of global population.

    

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi emphasized key words such as "equality", "consultation", "win-win" and "shared interests", in describing howChinais to move forward with "One Belt and One Road".

  

He said Chinawill "further enhance policy communicating with other countries and expand the convergence of our shared interests and explore possible areas of win-win cooperation," with a principle of "wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits."

  

Wang Yi noted that China's Belt and Road initiatives are not its "solo", but a "symphony" of all related countries, as the vision of the initiativesis "common development", and the goal is "win-win progress through cooperation".

  

The strategy is substantial as in the sense of real roads and bridges, a sharp contrast to theU.S."Pivot to Asia" strategy, which pays only scant attention to trade and investment with a few selected number of countries in Southeast Asia.The "One Belt and One Road" strategy is different from "Pivot to Asia" in nature that it aims at ensuring everybody is a winner while the latter targets at China's rise with a growing military presence in Asia.

  

(Author:Xu Qinduo,CRI's former chief correspondent to Washington DC, the UnitedStates. Producer, host and commentator for TODAY, a flagship talk show oncurrent affairs.)

  

  

 

  

  

  

  

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