Program on the Silk Road

September 20, 2014

Economic Co-operation and Connectivity an Innovative Method to Foster Relationships and Prosperity in the Region and Beyond.

Presentation by Siddhant Raj Pandey
Nepal Institute of International and Strategic Studies

I take this opportunity to thank the Chinese People's Association for Peace and Disarmament for enabling this conference and inviting me to present this paper. Today, I will speak about the road to peaceful coexistence through the economic perspective.Ever since the economic reform measures, commenced by China in the 1980s, China has maneuvered to be an economic giant in the first decade of the new millennium. Through the decades, China has not only developed its infrastructure capacity, but has extended its cooperation through various economic alignments with Nation States. Starting with the accession to the WTO membership and creation of the Shanghai Co-operation in 2001, China has spearheaded many regional co-operations across the globe. In 2010 China and ASEANcreated the world's largest free trade area. Much of these associations have enabled, primarily, trade and investments and South-to-South co-operation. The proposal of "one belt one road" by President, Xi Jinping last year has becomeChina's recent initiative in building a silk road economic belt and a modern maritime Silk Road will bring substantial benefits to global investment and trade, on the other hand, it encourages exchange and dialogue between countries.In order to make these regional co-operations successful there needs to be strategic trust between Nation States. My country, Nepal, is the southern neighbor to China. I would like to speak a little on the regional economic cooperation between our nations and the potential that Nepal can facilitate being a bridge to South Asia. Historically Nepal has been a transit point between India and China. At different intervals in history Nepal has benefitted from this proximity. Nepal has great potential to contribute to the Silk Roads project having corridors through the Himalayas that were crucial links between the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) China, and India. The old trade route between Kathmandu and TAR, China via Kerung is the new Silk Road. The South Western Silk Roadtraditionally used by yak caravans bartering salt for rice. Another route is being upgraded, which will be an alternative access to the Tibetan Plateau. Historically the Southern Silk route enabled trade and people to people movement through Yunnan province linking Myanmar through India via Nepal to Lhasa.The popular Northern Silk Road, began from this beautiful city of Xian and branched further west to Kashgar.

Today, Chinese tourists in Nepal have increased three folds since China put Nepal in the preferred category list of countries 3 years ago. Nepal receivesalmost 71,861 tourists from China making it the second largest source market after India helping the tourism based economy. It is expected that there will be about 400,000 Chinese tourists to Nepal by 2020. In terms of investments China is surging ahead making investments in sectors like hydropower hotels, aviation and telecommunications. Chinese FDI commitments have doubled and have overtaken all Trading relationships. Trade between the two countries has reached $2 billion.

Recently there have been many developments between Nepal and China in terms of banking relationship. The Chinese proposal for establishing an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank for uplifting the lifestyle of the Asian people deprived of socio-economic development for lack of necessary infrastructure has been positively received by Nepal with commitment of investing in it. Union Pay the payment gateway is now available in Nepal facilitating easier access for Chinese tourists for spending in Nepal.

A paradigm shift in terms of economic relations has begun with China as a leading player. In the past investments have always been west to west or from west to east. With this global approach earlier mentioned, investments are now going south to south. The formation of the BRICS bank will create an alternative as well as a balance to the existing multilateral arrangement that has been dominant since the Bretton Woodsaccord.Therefore, it is paramount to encourage various co-operations and linkages to enable economic progress in the region and beyond to make peace and development sustainable through collaboration. After all, bilateral alliances lead to multi lateral benefits.

China with its ability to routcreate alliances and provide the technology and the know how in large infrastructure projects has the potential to assist least developed and developing countries enabling strategic alliances. Nations that trade seldom go to war.

Even after 3000 years the Teracotta soldiers could be unearthed; I am hopeful that the 2000 years old Silk Road can be revived and its modern version the Maritime Silk Route Developed.

Understanding Asian security concept, jointly promoting Asian development and security By Fu Xiaoqiang, Research fellow and head of Institute of Security and Arms Control Studies, China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations During the Shanghai CICA Summit in May of this year, the Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the Asian security concept, whose core includes common security, comprehensive security, cooperative security and sustained security. This is both an in-depth innovation that adjusts to the general trend of international system and a developed theory to address new challenges facing Asia, demonstrating the profound meaning of "harmony" and "unity" of the Chinese culture.

1. The uniqueness of Asian security is the backdrop against which the Asian security concept is raised From China’s perspective, the content and extension of China’s security has never been broader. The contribution of China to world development has increased in proportion, yet we are also facing more external pressure and frictions. As is shown by reality, to create a sound neighboring security environment, we need not only more international approval, but also to promote common policy perspectives with neighboring and Asian countries, so as to jointly follow a development path of peace and build a trustworthy and win-win environment of security and development. Only when Asian countries share the same goal can we construct an architecture and system that goes with our common interest, and realize better domestic development in the region of common security and development. From Asia’s perspective, its development outlook is affected by two trends. On one hand, since the end of WW2, because of a favorable environment that is generally peaceful and stable, Asian countries have created the "Asian Miracle", which has laid solid foundation for sustained development. Asian GDP to the world’s total has increased from 15% in 1952 to more than 30% now. Asia has become one of the three economic sections running neck and neck with the US and Europe, it is one of the most dynamic and potential regions in the world, and an important engine driving global economic progress and civilization development in the 21st century. On the other hand, Asian future development is faced with an increasingly complex security environment, with ongoing regional hotspot issues and conflicts, intertwining historical legacy and current interest frictions, and traditional and non-traditional security threats. The politics of Asia is diversified, and the security cooperation mechanism is yet to be developed, added that Asian countries have difficulties forming joint force to address security challenges. For Asian countries in the 21st century, development and security are two tasks consisting of multi-dimensions, they are independent in some way, yet more often they limit and promote each other. Economic and society development, as well as political stability are the necessity of security, and security is the precondition of development.

Asia is facing a complicated security situation. From the North Korea nuclear issue in the northeastern Asia to the Iran nuclear issue and Israel-Palestine conflicts, from the security situation in Afghanistan to terrorist threats, cross-country drug dealing, cross-boarder organized crimes facing central, western and southern Asia, this region is facing difficulties that are extremely delicate and interconnected. The security threats facing Asian countries are common in some way yet are unique respectively. Moreover, limited by their own economic and society development level, Asian countries differ much in the capability to address traditional and non-traditional threats. When dealing with security challenges, Asia lacks a comprehensive dialogue platform apart from Shanghai Cooperation Organization and ASEAN. Meanwhile, big powers outside this region frequently interfere with regional affairs through bilateral security mechanisms, seeking to dominate regional security by taking advantage of the highly segmented situation. To some extent, this has made the already complex security situation harder to control.

Of course, with globalization picking up speed, Asian security is also an open system as economic development. However, Asian security affairs primarily affect the concerns of countries in this region, so it should be dominated by regional countries through active cooperation. Only in this way can we work more effectively with other regional countries to jointly address security threats facing the entire humanity, and make our due contribution to global security.

For the political development of Asian countries, some Asian countries have adopted the western democratic systems, yet more countries are exploring independently the development path and mode that are in line with their national situation. From the longer perspective of historic development, to find out the political development path that adapts to their own history, tradition and culture may be an important precondition for Asian countries to ensure economic and society development and effectively deal with security challenges. In this light, many Asian countries have long been facing enormous pressure and criticism from the west. Yet, those criticisms often come from the interests from the west, and their care towards Asia is often superficial, even fake. This also shows that Asian countries need to enhance exchanges, learn from each other, and increase self-confidence.

Against the domestic and international backdrop as mentioned above, China has initiated that Asian countries establish a common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustained security concept, facilitate the common security idea, and jointly maintain stability, promote security, and enhance development. This is not only meaningful in the long term for China’s diplomacy work, but also critical to maintain the sound development momentum in Asia. It has been proved by reality that the proposal of Asian security concept is in line with the status quo of Asian security, and is responsive to the common pursuit of Asian countries. This proposal is the combination of Chinese foreign policy idea and Asian reality, echoing the trend of Asian development; it will surely be widely responded and supported throughout Asian countries.

In some way, facing increasingly challenging global and regional security and political environment, the Chinese diplomacy has been forging its understanding and views towards the external world, so as to address both traditional and non-traditional security threats from the world, region, and within the country. We should acknowledge that the Asian security environment is complicated, with different, even opposing security concepts. The traditional Chinese culture stresses values like "kindness" "etiquette" and "justice", also embodies dialectic thoughts like "to guarantee society progress through developing defense". In this light, to promote cooperation, coordination and dialogue in Asian security is not to neglect the important role played by material power in ensuring regional peace and stability. New opportunities and challenges have driven the Chinese leaders to broaden horizon, and reflect and address global and Asian security issues from a wider perspective. During this process, the ideas of "Great Unity" and "Harmony" promoted by the traditional Chinese culture have inspired contemporary Chinese diplomacy thoughts. Foreign-policy makers in China have always been observing and interpreting Asian even global secure politics----in 1990s the "new security concept" was raised, in the beginning of the 21st century it was the "harmonious world", and now it is "Asian security concept". They not only show the coherence and timeliness of Chinese security political expressions, but also demonstrate theoretical value and are relevant to reality. There is one idea that Asian security politics should focus on: all Asian countries are in a community of common destiny. They need to break the blockade of "security deadlock" which is outdated and doesn’t go with the changing times, establish open and inclusive security cooperation and policy coordination mechanisms, so as to address regional conflicts and disputes through peaceful and diplomatic ways.

Firstly, Asian security should be based on common security. Common security means that the security of every nation should be respected and guaranteed. As a new Asian security concept, it is different from the old one which believes security is exclusive and seeks to realize and guarantee the security interests of oneself at the expense of others’. The core of new security concept is that countries should build equal and cooperative relations of mutual trust and mutual benefit. This new concept surpasses cold-war mentality, is free from ideology conflicts and abandons the mutual doubt and jungle rules from traditional perspectives. Rather, it stresses that countries are all equal members in the Asian community despite their size, wealth and strength, they are entitled to choose independently their development mode; in the international relations, countries should respect each other and do not interfere others’ internal affairs, they should deal with disagreement and differences through peaceful means so as to promote democracy in international relations.

Secondly, Asian security should be comprehensive security and cooperative security. Security is no longer only aimed at political and military fields, but also economic, cultural, information technology and environment fields. On one hand, there are still traditional security threats; on the other hand, non-traditional security difficulties are severe challenges. Therefore, no single country can handle these threats or challenges alone, but has to cooperatively formulate joint strategy and aims; countries should not take hostile attitudes towards each other; no country shall ensure its own security at the expense of other countries' security. In country interaction, Asian countries should surpass differences in political system and ideology, establish cooperation mechanisms including strong multi-lateral security (dialogue) mechanisms, oppose using or threat of force, so as to address security and political difficulties through meaningful communication and dialogue.

Thirdly, Asian security should be sustained security. The Asia today still embodies cold-war legacy, and it is necessary that Asian security break out the traditional narrow perspectives of military alliance and arm race. The history has told human-beings that the old security concept based on military alliance and use of weapon not only fails to ensure national security, but also fails to bring enduring peace to Asia. It is dangerous to "outsource" the responsibility of ensuring Asian peace and stability to a sole power outside Asia, and it is also not reliable, given that any decline or collapse of this power will mean serious threats to Asian peace and stability. There have been such historic mistakes in Northeastern Asia.

Therefore it is necessary to explore a new way to ensure sustained peace and stability in Asia. One option is to establish open and inclusive security cooperation and policy coordination mechanisms, through win-win cooperation that is multi-lateral, multi-tiered and multi-channeled to facilitate lasting regional peace and stability. In this process, hopefully Asian countries will be more willing to address disputes and disagreement thanks to new level of cooperation and coordination.

In this process, Asian countries should learn to trust and tolerate each other and be patient, as well as apply shared norms, identity, interests and value to the formulation and implementation of national policies. These elements can offer to be the foundation for lasting Asian peace and stability, since they embody Asian awareness and collective identity based on equality. Asian countries should learn to jointly deal with global and regional challenges, enhance the cooperation ability in addressing international and regional political and economic difficulties, so that Asian affairs will be decided and handled by Asian people. An open and inclusive security cooperation and policy coordination mechanism may bring a more sound and just security environment to Asia.

2. How to understand Asian security concept
President Xi Jinping proposed at Shanghai CICA conference the new security concept of Asia, believing that Asian security is to be fundamentally defended by Asian people. The international community reacted strongly, and there are mainly three opinions: the first one is that this proposal is an Asian Monroe Doctrine, aiming to exclude the US in future security architecture; the second one is that “the Asian people" in this proposal is "the Chinese people", thus this is China's declaration to dominate Asia; the third one is that even the European people cannot address their security issues, let alone Asian people! These misunderstandings are due to negligence, with or without purpose, of three elements:
Firstly, we cannot rely on some country outside Asia to ensure Asian security. This is because Asian countries including Japan are doubtful about America to protect them. The remarks made by a Chinese leader are not only for the interest of China, but also for other Asian countries. It has been proven by history that it is not reliable to place one’s security on someone else's carriage.

Secondly, Asian security issues should be addressed by Asian ways. The west applies bisection method by uniting one group and opposing the other one; they build alliance systems to create conflicts and confrontation, and then benefit from the situation. This is not applicable to a fast-growing Asia. Asian mechanisms like the ASEAN, CICA and SCO have all absorbed American elements and influence.

Thirdly, Asian security calls for Asian wisdom. There are three elements affecting Asian security: the first is historic legacy, like conflicts and confrontation caused by territorial land and waters; the second is internationalization of domestic conflicts due to globalization, for instance the law enforcement on Mekong River; the third is that some countries deliberately escalate incidents by taking advantage of American pivot strategy. To address the three elements, we cannot follow the suit of the US to simply use military means, but rather we should have systemic perspectives and search solutions according to the nature of incidents. Cases of Iraq and Afghanistan have demonstrated that western countries did not bring a real sense of security to Asian countries.

In other words, the security dream of Asia is like the Chinese dream, it can only be realized by relying on Asian strength, Asian path, and Asian spirit:
---To achieve Asian security, we need to rely on Asian strength. The core of Asian security strength is self-improvement which opposes over reliance on other forces. South Korea is an Asian ally of the US, if you ask someone from this country "Do you feel safe?" the answer would obviously be negative. Rather, South Korean people feel increasingly insecure. This shows that an outside strong power does not bring a sense of security to Asian countries. Moreover, the new security concept of Asia is to "keep Americans in" rather than "keep Asians in", and it is not an Asian Monroe Doctrine. China has expressed repeatedly that it welcomes the US to generate positive influence and play a constructive role in Asia; it is unnecessary and impossible to exclude the US.
---To achieve Asian security, we need to follow the Asian path. The Asian path focuses on sustainability and stresses to nurture the soil for security. It seeks for security through development, and promotes development by security. By addressing territorial and sovereign disputes through consultation, we would accumulate experience on security and expand successful cases, so as to formulate a new path for lasting Asian security in the end.
---To achieve Asian security, we need to honor Asian spirit. The core of Asian wisdom is inclusiveness, embodying that only security of others can ensure security of oneself. It follows the norms and principles of the UN Charter, sticks to deal with disputes by peaceful means, opposes the arbitrary use or threat of armed teeth, opposes the behavior to create conflicts and escalate confrontation out of personal interest, and fights against the action of beggar-thy-neighbor or harming others' interest for one’s own.

Therefore, we need to understand the new Asian security concept fully and rightly---Asian affairs should fundamentally be addressed by Asian people, Asian problems should fundamentally be dealt with by Asian people, and Asian security should fundamentally be defended by Asian people.

3. Asian security concept: the self-awareness and self-confidence of China and Asia in security First of all, the new security concept of Asia reflects the demand of Asia. In Asia, bilateral alliance systems dominated by the US and multi-lateral systems represented by the ASEAN co-exist based on sound relations between China and the US. Once there is confrontation between China and the US, such an order will be hard to maintain. Asian countries hope there will be no conflict between China and the US, and that the US could respect the role of the ASEAN. Ever since the “Pivot” strategy was initiated by America, the cooperation momentum among Asian countries has been dampened, and Asia has begun to be insecure. That the US has been enhancing bilateral alliance relations is reducing the leading role of the ASEAN in Asia. When some ASEAN countries have territorial disputes with China, the US is separating the ASEAN by choosing side. Although ASEAN countries would not criticize America, they have expressed concerns for its action. In the long term, the economic cooperation and development of Asia calls for security guarantee to facilitate a stable environment. The new security concept of Asia proposed by President Xi Jinping is different from the traditional concepts of peace and war of the west. Western countries are used to make propaganda of peace, while the reality in Asia is that though it is generally peaceful, its security is being reduced, and the sense of security is fading. For instance, China is also facing danger of terrorist attack. As an emerging big country, China should offer its proposals on Asian security. Since western powers entered Asia, their concept of national sovereignty embodied by Westphalia system has replaced the traditional concept of boarder, leading to the collapse of original Asian order, and this is the cause of territorial disputes between China and its neighboring countries. This is the era when the new security concept of Asia is proposed. Secondly, the new security concept of Asia is actually to construct and sort out a new concept towards history and future. A new history concept means the way to interpret Asian history. A new history concept is not simply to seek to go back to the ancient times, but to combine modern times and past times, to smooth current relations, and calls for grand reconciliation within Asia. Countries should not simply use their own interpretation, but to construct an inclusive, modern history concept on the basis of mutual respect. This is a long process, and includes measures like revising textbooks. For instance, Chinese history textbooks should not isolate Chinese history from world history, but rather place it under the framework of Asian history. The author has visited the Berlin history museum, and the first sentence from the exhibition was that there is no absolute German history, but German history is a part of European history----really impressive. If Asian countries can establish a collective history concept towards Asia, stress that the history of China and Japan are all parts of Asian history, they then can build a community of common destiny based on shared history concept and memory, and protect modern cooperation and acknowledgement from historical issues.

新的未来观,即亚洲带给世界什么,将在全球化分工体系中扮演什么角色。全球化是建立在区域一体化基础上的,亚洲的一体化在亚洲新安全观中有三个意思:利益共同体,更多的是强调发达国家,互利共赢;命运共同体,更多的是强调发展中国家,尤其是对弱小的国家,要给予更多的援助,中国作为公认的崛起大国,应该承担更多的国际责任;价值共同体, A new concept towards the future embodies ideas of what Asian can bring to the world, and what role Asia will play in global chain. Globalization is based on regional integration; in the new security concept of Asia, Asian integration consists of three ideas: community of common interest, which focuses on developed countries and win-win progress; community of common destiny, which stresses developing countries especially weaker countries should be aided more, and as a widely recognized emerging big country, China should shoulder more international responsibilities; community of common values, which could be built on "governance", an idea proposed in the new security concept of Asia. Despite diverse values in Asian countries, every country needs governance, and it is possible that in the progress of governance, a new common values system be formulated to embody ideas like sustained development, so as to break the confrontational values system from the past.

In conclusion, the new security concept of Asia shows the self-awareness and self-confidence of China, and also reflects the self-awareness and self-confidence of Asian countries. Self-awareness means we do not over rely on external powers, and self-confidence means we are able to explore on security issues. That China has proposed the new security concept of Asia is a new beginning, demonstrating that traditional race among big countries is no longer relevant to changing times, and China and the US cannot afford any war, nor can the world at large. To address territorial disputes with the new Asian security concept, we need to have a historic perspective. Diaoyu Island issue to its core is that Japan does not admit its aggression history, which has led to insecurity in Asia, and such issues occur between not only Japan and China, but also Japan and South Korea.

The new Asian security concept has put forward security ideas that are widely recognized, yet it still calls for specific facilitation. We need to set up models, carry out pilot projects, and complete them with mechanisms---just like what China did in reform and opening up. The Charter of the UN and international laws are the juristical basis to guide the new Asian security concept; the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence is the cornerstone to achieve overall peace in Asia; and the great unity of Asian people is the fundamental guarantee to realize Asian security.

Development of the Silk Road Economic Belt and Maritime Silk Road
By Ding Yifan, Institute of World Development, Development Research Centre of the State Council
During his visit to the four Central Asian countries in September 2013, the Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed to establish the Silk Road Economic Belt, and in October the same year, President Xi suggested to build the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road jointly in his visit to Indonesia. These ideas have drawn great attention from home and abroad, and "One Belt and One Road" has become an important part in China’s foreign development strategy.

The Silk Road is a road for trade in China Historically, the Silk Road was for trade. According to the Chinese tradition, "exchanges with the west" means trade exchanges. The best exports of Ancient China were silk and tea, and they found their way abroad through the Silk Road. Later, these traditional goods, together with porcelain, were sold to the Middle East and Europe via maritime Silk Road. China also imported foreign products through these Silk Roads. Wheat, sesame, spinach, grape, corn, potato, tomato and so on were introduced to China through Silk Roads both on land and sea. The external security concerns then were firstly from the North, later from the East and South. China is in the process of civilization revival. The development of Silk Road Economic Belt is in line with the great renewal of Chinese civilization therefore embodies special signaling meaning. Possibility to revive the Silk Road

Firstly, the region around 30th degree of the northern latitude has long been possessed by wars and democratic revolutions, with everything needs to be reestablished. No matter what democratic revolutions are carried out, human survival is always the most important. For instance, Afghanistan has been in war for 30 years, and its public infrastructure, domestic economy and industrial revival all need to be started from scratch, but the local people cannot achieve development quickly depending on themselves, and who could help them?

Secondly, developed countries including the US and Europe have long been supporting some forces and opposing some other forces in Arab region, which has brought wars. The people there feel some western countries are hateful yet they generally do not feel so towards China. The Silk Road development corridor will combine China with Central Asian countries, Iran and Arab countries, which is significant for regional economic progress and national renewal. The 30th degree of the northern latitude is also a line of unity, development and happiness for the Muslim world.

Thirdly, market demand is human demand. This region is home to dense population. With Pakistan (197mn), Afghanistan (30.42mn), Iran (77.6mn), Syria (22.53mn), Iraq (31.23mn), Egypt (94.55mn), Libya (7.15mn), and Algeria (38.1mn) as the 8 major Arab countries, this region consists of almost 500 million people, roughly the same as the EU. This large population surely brings large market demand. Fourthly, many developed countries in Europe and America (the UK, France, Italy, Spain and so on) are having difficulty developing themselves due to the gloomy economy, while China, as the second largest economy and largest manufacturing country, with ample fund and production technology, is capable and even more inclusive to invest in this region.

Development of the Silk Road Economic Belt is conducive for China's economic and regional rebalancing China's reform and opening-up started from its coastal area, and the old policy of allowing some area to become rich first has led to widening gap between the coastal area and inland China. For process manufacturing, the products are more easily transported along the coast because of low cost. 4600 km of the Silk Road Economic Belt is in China, concentrated on China's middle and western part. These areas didn't develop fast in the past years and lag behind the coastal area. Revival of the Silk Road means to increase investment on infrastructure and improve the local investment environment in the middle and western area, which is important to rebalance development across different regions in China. Moreover, China's past development depended heavily on the manufacturing sector and exportation, which led to unbalanced economic structure. After the international financial crisis, China needs to adjust economic structure and reduce proportion of exportation-oriented manufacturing. Development of the Silk Road Economic Belt can also lead progress in new sectors. For many Chinese transportation and logistics companies, the region along the 30th degree of northern latitude is showing more and more market potential, and logistic markets including railways, waterways, air routes and highways alongside also have huge business opportunities.

Development of the Silk Road Economic Belt is in line with China's geopolitical interests Traditionally, China is a big continental country, yet ever since the modern times, China has been facing threat from its southeastern side, from the sea. Starting from the Opium war, to the 1894 Sino-Japanese war, then to Japanese Aggression war, China could always survive in the end thanks to a stable supply foundation. During World War 2, the Kuomindang government relocated in Chongqing, and defended China against Japanese Aggression because of Yunnan-Myanmar Road and India. Similarly, the Silk Road Economic Belt plan could stabilize China's supply foundation and China could then rely on European continent to continue its development.

China has 4trillion dollars of foreign exchange reserve, ranking the first in the world. How to make the best use of this resource? Buying bonds of developed countries is not ideal, since the debt of the US, Japan and European countries is not sustainable, and it is worrying to think in the future they may use inflation to offset their debt. It therefore would be a better choice to use China’s reserve to promote foreign trade and help other countries. Only when all other developing countries make progress can China expand its exporting market and continue its economic development. Thus to make use of China’s huge foreign exchange reserve to facilitate the Silk Road Economic Belt is a major strategic choice of China to promote international economic re-development in the post-crisis period. China faces threat from the sea. The US is dominating the Pivot strategy depending on its military alliance with Japan and South Korea, and recently it has been enhancing military alliance with Australia. By making progress towards the west through the Silk Road Economic Belt, China could reduce pressure from the south east. The international environment is favorable for developing the Silk Road Economic Belt In the beginning, Russia was hesitant when China proposed the Silk Road Economic Belt. Russian researchers worried that if Central Asian countries join in China’s Silk Road plan, Russia’s plan to rebuild Eurasia Union would fail.

However, Russia has been suffering from economic sanctions from the US and Europe since Ukraine crisis broke out, and it had to look more to China and Asia. Russia has realized that the Silk Road Economic Belt is benefiting for all countries on Eurasia. President Putin has publicly declared that Russia welcomes China's plan to develop the Silk Road Economic Belt and will participate in it more actively.

In the recent Shanghai Cooperation Organization conference, national leaders at the occasion all expressed their will to join the development of the Silk Road Economic Belt. In the future, India and Iran will also be members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. If these two countries will join in successfully, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will be a platform for closer cooperation among China, Russia and India, and it will be a coordination mechanism for the progress of the Silk Road Economic Belt. The maritime Silk Road Economic Belt is complement of the Silk Road Economic Belt The maritime Silk Road developed later than its continental counterpart, being a maritime commerce road after the Song dynasty, it was mainly used to export porcelain to the Middle East and Europe. This maritime Silk Road developed quickly in the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasty, serving as a major commerce road. The development plan of the maritime Silk Road also came later than the continental one, it was firstly proposed to enhance China's cooperation with the ASEAN countries and improve the role of East Asian economy in world economic recovery.

The building of continental Silk Road is mainly carried out through railways and highways, and it will facilitate economic development of the whole economic belt. While the maritime Silk Road also consists of another element: the building and repair of ports. China has signed agreements with Thailand to help it build high-speed railways and connect them with China's high-speed railway network. In the future, Thai people may take high-speed trains to China. According to the outline of maritime Silk Road, China is willing to help ASEAN countries to connect high-speed railways, so as to forge a multi-dimensional transportation network with railways, water ways and air routes.


As the plan of maritime Silk Road develops, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan and other countries are listed in development plan. The Silk Road Economic Belt development is an important link in China’s opening-up strategy The BRIC countries wish to develop together, and thus decided to set up their own development bank in 2014 SCO Summit in Brazil. China has gained support from several countries to set up Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Though some countries including Japan doubt that this bank would compete against Asian Development Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will surely help the infrastructure building of Southeast Asian countries, and is also in line with the development of the maritime Silk Road. Recently, when President Xi Jinping attended the SCO Summit in Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan, he reached consensus with President Putin on cooperation of high-speed railway, satellite positioning system and other fields. Previously both sides agreed to jointly research on long-distance wide-body passenger airlines, heavy helicopters and energy exploitation, and now the cooperation has been furthered. This sign demonstrates that China and Russia will enjoy even more cooperation in the building of the Silk Road Economic Belt, and this building will bring ample economic progress for countries along 30th degree of north latitude, thus largely change development pattern of world economy.




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