Diplomats explore development along the Martime Silk Road

Updated: 2015-11-11 11:22


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A group of diplomats from different missions in Beijing expressed their interest in active involvement of China's Belt and Road Initiative in an effort to revive the long history of cultural and economic links between China and their countries.

The remarks were made as more than 20 diplomats from 17 countries were invited by the Foreign Ministry in early November to explore the historic tracks and economic development along the ancient Maritime Silk Road.

The 5,000-kilometers journey, which lasted for 10 days, brought the delegation to nine cities in Fujian Province, Guangdong Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. They held seminars with local officials, observed industrial parksand visited businesses known as innovative enterprises to collect first hand information regarding economic and technology development and local cultural heritage.

Magdalene Teo, ambassador of Brunei to China, as well as the head of the delegation, said that with Southeast Asia being one of the focal points of China's Belt and Road Initiative, ASEAN countries are prioritized on the Maritime Silk Road to build a stronger regional economy.

She said her country, Brunei, is an integral part of the building of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which matches very well with Brunei's economic diversification strategy.

From a country almost wholly dependent on the oil and gas sector, Teo said "We seek to have more cooperation in the port construction, logistics, fishery and maritime businesses."

Noun Chivorn, minister counselor of the Cambodian embassy, said the initiative has offered broader prospects for future cooperation between China and various ASEAN nations, according to their own development condition and strategies.

Kafle Nirmal Raj, minister of the Nepal embassy, said his inland home is nowhere near the Maritime Silk Road, but very close to the one on land. "I was very much impressed by the trip", he said, adding that he believes China's Belt and Road Initiative is an opportunity for Nepal to improve its regional and global connectivity.

The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013 and comprising the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, is aimed at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes.

It is dedicated to development, cooperation and openness, and characterized by equality and mutual benefit on the basis of consultation, cooperation and sharing.