More than 2,100 years ago
in the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD), Zhang Qian traveled twice to Central Asia on a mission of peace and friendship. 2
His journey opened up a path of cultural and trade exchanges connecting the civilizations of Asia, Europe and Africa.
With all the people along the road, he helped shape the glorious ancient Silk Road.
In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed an important cooperation initiative
—to build the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road.
With the Belt and Road Initiative,
President Xi Jinping summarized the spirit of Silk Road as
“peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit.”
In May 2017, the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was held in Beijing.
Attendees were about 1,500 representatives from more than 130 countries
and over 70 international organizations,
including 29 foreign heads of state.
Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the opening ceremony and delivered a keynote speech entitled
“Work Together to Build the Belt and Road.”
He emphasized that we should adhere to the Silk Road spirit
with the core values of peace, cooperation, openness, inclusiveness,
mutual learning, and mutual benefit
so that we could work together to promote the steady and continuous development of the Belt and Road.
By doing so, we will be able to build a road of
peace, prosperity, openness, innovation and civilization
for a better future.
During the four years from 2013 to 2017,
more than 100 countries and international organizations
vigorously supported and participated in the Belt and Road Initiative.
Some of them, such as the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council,
have included the Belt and Road Initiative into their important resolutions.
From 2014 to 2016,
the trade between China and the Belt and Road countries exceeded USD 3 trillion.
During the same period, China’s accumulative investment in the countries along the Belt and Road
totaled over USD 50 billion,
and Chinese enterprises set up 56 economic and trade cooperation zones in more than 20 countries
that created nearly USD 1.1 billion of revenue
and 180,000 jobs.
In 2016 alone,
the direct investment made by Chinese firms in these countries reached USD 14.5 billion.
As President Xi Jinping pointed out in his speech
at the welcoming banquet of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation,
the initiative demonstrates our eagerness for exchanges of civilizations,
which will continue to serve as an messenger for the communication between civilizations,
promote mutual understanding and learning among civilizations,
and make them more splendid and colorful.
Along the new path of the ancient Belt and Road,
the Silk Road spirit that once helped shape the world of the past
will go on shaping the world today and tomorrow.