July 28, 2019
This is an explainer from a Chinese perspective and it is the kind of information and perspective we get far too little of in the West – in spite of it being so diverse, so big and so visionary. What – one may ask – is the West so afraid of? And will the West be better off if it ignores the BRI and isolates itself? I do not think so. – Jan Oberg, The Transnational’s editor
After its successful debut two years ago, the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, a leading platform for international cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, or BRI, will be held in Beijing again this month, drawing representatives from over 150 countries, including 37 leaders of foreign governments, under the theme of “Belt and Road Cooperation, shaping a brighter shared future.”
Although you may have heard the term before, do you know what the BRI is?
More than two thousand years ago people of Eurasia explored and opened up routes of trade and cultural exchanges that linked the major civilizations of Asia, Europe and Africa, later called the Silk Road. For thousands of years, the Silk Road Spirit – “peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit” – has been passed from generation to generation, contributing to the prosperity and development of the countries along the Silk Road.
In the 21st century, a new era marked by development and cooperation, it is more important for the world to carry on the Silk Road Spirit in face of the weak recovery of the global economy, and complex international and regional situations. First announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, the BRI is China’s ambitious effort to improve regional cooperation and connectivity on a trans-continental scale.