September 11, 2018
The Belt and Road Initiative has turned 5 years. On September 7, 2013, at the Nazarbayev University in Astana, Kazakhstan, President Xi Jinping of China launched the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
This initiative – which has attracted a lot of attention from all over the world – was launched to “promote the economic prosperity of the countries, strengthen mutual learning between different civilizations and promoting world peace and development.”
The historical roots, of course, is the ancient Silk Road from China through Eurasia to Europe and Africa.
At the time of the mentioned speech, 60+ countries were on the list. Now, 5 years later and as the initiative gains momentum, there are more than 100 countries involved in various ways and roles. And the “Silk Roads” now points in all directions, including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, even the USA.
The BRI has become a global force – a civilian world order change mover and shaker. And please observe that its mandatory prerequisite – philosophy – is win-win, a sharing of the benefits, as equal as possible.
In its outline, it is stated that:
“The Belt and Road Initiative is in line with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. It upholds the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence: mutual respect for each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual nonaggression, mutual noninterference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence.
The Initiative is harmonious and inclusive. It advocates tolerance among civilizations, respects the paths and modes of development chosen by different countries, and supports dialogues among different civilizations on the principles of seeking common ground while shelving differences and drawing on each other’s strengths, so that all countries can coexist in peace for common prosperity.
The Initiative follows market operation. It will abide by market rules and international norms, give play to the decisive role of the market in resource allocation and the primary role of enterprises, and let the governments perform their due functions.”
The globe is under a threat from its own inhabitants. We are taking out more resources than are reproduced. Poverty and inequality is the No 1 reason behind war, suffering, despair, and tragedies. Poverty must be ended in all its forms, everywhere. China itself has taken 600+ million of its citizens out of poverty during the last 2-3 decades. It’s unprecedented and indicative of how the new thinking is implemented at home.
The Belt & Road Initiative is comprehensive in its structure, receives a positive response in many places and has already achieved positive results. The impact will be welcomed by all, albeit perhaps less so by the West.
It will obviate the main reason for war. It generates a fundamental and lasting change of the incentives from the MIC, the Military-Industrial Complex. This will lead to a conversion of investments interests from weapons and military material to the areas within UN’s 17 sustainable goals.
In an unstable world filled with ongoing conflicts and potential ones, China is opening up and stepping in by initiating activities that are founded on peaceful mindsets. It will result in less and less conflicts.
President Xi Jinping is responsible for bringing the BRI, this global peace plan to the world. It is an instrument that in its roots and basics usesthe fundamental ingredients and reasons for peace: benefit-sharing throughout economic, educational and cultural exchanges.
When countries benefit from cooperation and develop closer relations, they reduce the propensity to start wars – although they may still encounter conflicts o the way.
It opens up for an endless set of opportunities. It removes the main reason for conflicts and wars. It is reasonable to perceive it as a peace generator, on all levels, to all countries, to each and every one.
The old principle – if you want peace, prepare for war – has turned out to be a failure with catastrophic results at many placed of our globe.
President Xi Jinping instead advances the much more constructive and logical means-end unity: If you want peace, prepare for peace.
That is why, as my last act as a member of the Norwegian parliament in September last year, I nominated President Xi Jinping and the BRI for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2018.