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The Belt and Road Initiative
18 August 2017

In September and October of 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the construction of the ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ and ‘21st-century Maritime Silk Road’, collectively termed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and popularly known as the New Silk Road.

In September and October of 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the construction of the ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ and ‘21st-century Maritime Silk Road’, collectively termed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and popularly known as the New Silk Road. President Xi stressed that the countries involved in this development strategy should build a win-win ‘community of interests’ and a ‘community of common destiny’ with joint development and prosperity as the shared goal.

The purpose of the BRI Silk Road Economic Belt is to develop economy and promote trade. Throughout human history, nearly all major economic change and activity has been accompanied by dissemination and communication of culture and the humanities. Only
on a basis of mutual cultural acceptance, understanding and respect can economic development achieve interconnectedness and sustainability; likewise, economic prosperity can greatly promote cultural achievements and integration. Cultural dissemination and cultural exchange are necessary to achieve economic goals, and also offer the countries along the New Silk Road an opportunity to gain deeper understanding and appreciation of each other.

The BRI is not an entity or mechanism, but a wide-reaching concept and strategy for cooperative development. It will make use of existing bilateral and multilateral mechanisms, and build on established, effective regional cooperation platforms. The BRI will proactively develop economic partnerships in the New Silk Road regions, and help the nations involved to build communities of shared interest, shared destiny and shared responsibility, based on strong foundations of political mutual trust, economic integration and cultural inclusivity. At the core of the BRI are the ‘Five Connectivities’: policy coordination, infrastructure connectivity, free trade, currency circulation, and people-to-people exchange. These are the logical necessities of a comprehensive opening-up to the outside world, and the inevitable trend of global development.