Initiative seen as cultural bridge

By Amy He and Wang Linyan in New York | China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-02 07:15

The Belt and Road Initiative's impact on economies across the old Silk and Maritime roads also will be one of social and cultural exchange, leading to peace and stability, said the high representative of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.

"The Belt and Road Initiative is not just economic, but also builds and promotes intercultural and interreligious (exchange)," Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser said on Friday. Al-Nasser, of Qatar, said he plans to attend the Belt and Road Forum For International Cooperation in Beijing later this month.

"In order to achieve not only a strong economy but also peace, we need stability (and we need to) work together and cooperate."

His agency, known as the UNAOC, will sign a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to cooperate on the areas of intercultural and interreligious dialogue under the Belt and Road Initiative during his visit, Al-Nasser said.

Initiative seen as cultural bridge

"Especially when the world today faces many big challenges, we see problems around the world coming through culture and religion," he said.

The initiative, proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013, which consists of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aims to build links between Asia, Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes.

More than 100 countries and organizations have joined the initiative and about 40 countries signed the memorandum of understanding of cooperation with China.

"This means it's a very important initiative; we need something like that today to work together," Al-Nasser said, adding that it will not just be good for China, but also for the rest of the world.

Al-Nasser has been the UNAOC's high representative since 2013. The agency was formed in 2005 to explore polarization between the Western and Islamic worlds.

One of the main pillars of the UNAOC's work is on migration and refugees, and Al-Nasser said that the Belt and Road Initiative can help strengthen ties between countries that are involved in the initiative.

"The contribution of migrants in many ways is positive," he said. "I think now with this great initiative, this will really strengthen the cooperation between countries, especially those who are on the Silk Road."

Contact the writer at

(China Daily 05/02/2017 page3)

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349