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Top-level visits to Southeast Asia to boost Belt and Road Initiative

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-07-22 10:56

BEIJING - China's top political advisor Yu Zhengsheng started his official visit to Thailand and Indonesia on Tuesday, during which it is highly expected that promoting the Belt and Road Initiative will become a highlight.

The just concluded week also witnessed another high-level interaction between China and Vietnam. Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli visited the Southeast Asian country, calling on the two sides to align China's Belt and Road Initiative and Vietnam's Two Corridors and One Economic Circle plan so as to advance maritime, on-land and financial cooperation simultaneously.

From the Chinese leaders' successive visits to Southeast Asia, it is not hard to see that China is taking the opportunity of boosting the Belt and Road to cement cooperation with the region, which is a central part of the Chinese initiative.

Actually, Southeast Asian countries, especially ASEAN nations, have a close affinity with the Belt and Road Initiative, as they have served as an important pivot of the Maritime Silk Road since ancient times.

In addition, close to Chinese geographical feature and culture, these countries own a large number of overseas Chinese, which also provides a public opinion basis for the implementation of China's initiative.

Meanwhile, thanks to the extensive political foundation and solid economic base shared by China and ASEAN countries, the Belt and Road will grant boons to both sides.

With the realization of its goal to establish an economic community, the year of 2015 will become a milestone in the history of ASEAN. The regional integration's objective is to create a competitive market of over 600 million people in the ASEAN countries, where there will be free flow of goods, services, investment capital and skilled labor following the liberalization.

In a bid to achieve the goal, the construction of infrastructure and enhancing connectivity in the bloc are essential steps. While the Belt and Road Initiative meets the demands of ASEAN countries and will definitely fuel the bloc's development strategy.

With the aim to accelerate the building of basic connectivity network, the Belt and Road will also help lift China-ASEAN relations to a new high, which features a better land and maritime connection between the two sides.

In turn, the ASEAN integration and its economic prosperity will also spur cross-border investment with China, providing guarantee for further development of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Just as Chinese President Xi Jinping has said, the Belt and Road Initiative will not be a solo for China but a real chorus comprising all countries along the routes. And that is the reason why Chinese leaders would like to spare no efforts to push forward the program in order to achieve common prosperity.

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