This is China’s recent development strategy to push for further cooperation between it and the other 68 countries on the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa.
THE first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was held in Beijing last week. Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) and 29 country representatives joined the two-day forum and set up long-term goals for the huge development plan. Meanwhile, major Chinese media outlets made music videos to promote it to the public.
The Belt and Road Initiative, often called ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR) was proposed in late 2013. It aims at reconnecting the Eurasian (歐亞的) and African (非洲的) countries with the Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and Maritime Silk Road (MSR), which are modelled on the historical Silk Road that made ancient China an economic powerhouse.
Where do the Silk Roads go?
THERE are five routes in OBOR. The SREB aims at linking China to Europe through Central Asia and Russia, to the Middle East through Central Asia, and to Southeast Asia, South Asia and countries near the Indian Ocean. For MSR, Chinese coastal ports will link to Europe through the South China Sea and Indian Ocean, and connect with the South Pacific Ocean. The routes geographically end in Eastern and Western Russia (俄羅斯), Turkey (土耳其), Pakistan (巴基斯坦),Singapore (新加坡) and India (印度). Together with China, there are now 69 benefiting countries, tentatively.
What do they have to do?
TO facilitate regional trade and investment, it is essential for all members to work on five priority aspects – policy coordination, financial integration, unimpeded trade, people-to-people bonds and connectivity of infrastructure. Both nonphysical resources, including the people’s understanding and effort, and physical, including networks of roads, ports and railways, are indispensable to OBOR.
What are the goals?
THE OBOR not only promotes mutual economic and industrial benefits among members, but it also emphasises environmental and public health along with its development. Exchanging expertise and professionals also helps solve the problems encountered. It is also hoped that through shared resources, brainpower and responsibilities, OBOR can bring about regional stability and peace.
Related words and phrases
Silk Road Economic Belt 絲綢之路經濟帶
Maritime Silk Road 海上絲綢之路
Mutual benefits 互利
1. What are the benefits of such regional cooperation?
2. What might be the possible challenges for OBOR?
3. Which aspects of OBOR can Hong Kong help to facilitate?