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Chinese leaders to push forward Belt and Road Initiative


12-10-2014 16:24 BJT

Full coverage: 2014 Central Economic Work Conference

The Chinese government has come up with new measures and strategies to cope with dramatically changing economic dynamics within and outside China. One of the strategies is the silk road economic belt and the 21st century maritime silk road initiative. The initiative will be among the major topics during the on-going central economic work conference in Beijing.

The silk road economic belt and 21st century maritime silk road initiative has become a national strategy that Chinese leaders have touted during numerous international conferences this year. The initiative is set to become one of the biggest economic cooperation schemes on the international stage. The measure covers as much as 4.4 billion people, or 63% of the global population, with a collective GDP of 2.1 trillion US dollars. That's 29% of the world's GDP.

"The creation of the new silk road is about economic and trade cooperation in the region along the cultural route of the ancient silk road," Tsinghua University's professor He Maochun said. "It does not intend to rebuild the road, but to build solid bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements, joint infrastructure projects, and other forms of high-level economic and cultural exchange so the region can adapt to economic globalization. Substantially, it is about regional economic integration, trade liberalization, and investment facilitation. ”

Entrepreneurs are also embracing the initiative. Many companies in China's Southwest border region are already preparing to adapt to new opportunities and challenges brought by the initiative.

"We want to be integrated into the initiative," general manager Yang Yongli from Eurasia Diary Co. said.  "That's why the company will be upgrading four aspects. First, our technical standards will meet international levels. Second, we will further diversify our products. Third, we will build a market that covers bordering Southeast Asian countries. Fourth, we should build our own logistic network."

Chinese leaders are expected to discuss more detailed measures to support the Belt and Road Initiative. As the country pushes full speed ahead with the strategy, the initiative will have a profound impact on the transformation of China's trade structure, and it will determine the country's tone in international cooperation for decades to come.

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