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Silk Road to have 'shared benefits'

By Lan Lan | China Daily | Updated: 2015-03-30 07:38

China's action plan for building a Silk Road economic belt and a 21st century Maritime Silk Road was released over the weekend, fleshing out the priorities as policy coordination, connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people exchanges.

In promoting the initiative, China will follow the principle of "wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits", President Xi Jinping said at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan province.

Xi added that the development will be "open and inclusive, not exclusive".

More than 60 countries and international organizations have shown interest in taking part in the development of the "Belt and Road".

"There will be a real chorus comprising all countries along the routes, not a solo by China itself," he said.

The National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Commerce released the vision and action paper for the initiative on Saturday.

It said financial integration will act as a critical prop for implementing the initiative, and called for countries to deepen financial cooperation, expand bilateral currency swaps and build a stable currency system in the region.

Countries also need to push forward the construction of international arterial passageways and give priority to linking up unconnected road sections and build an infrastructure network connecting all subregions in Asia, according to the plan.

Shi Yulong, senior researcher at the Academy of Macroeconomic Research under the NDRC, said that industrial cooperation is another key area of the initiative, which could help developing economies shift from high reliance on raw material exports to higher value product manufacturing by strengthening cooperation with China, creating more jobs and prompting trade and investment in the region.

"The initiative is underpinned by pragmatic cooperation. It meets the development needs of China, while China's experience as a developing country with rapid growth in the past decades will also serve the interests of other countries in the region," he said.

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi said in Boao on Saturday that China will not use the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road project as a geopolitical tool to manipulate neighboring countries.

China is willing to put aside political disputes and focus on cooperation when it comes to further ocean exploration, Yang said.

Zhao Jinping, director-general of the Department of Foreign Economic Relations at the State Council's Development Research Center, said promotion of the initiative still faces various constraints, so parties should strengthen policy communications and have the market play a critical role.

China also promised to provide 10,000 government scholarships to the countries along the "Belt and Road" every year.

Liu Xiaoli, Gao Yuan and Zheng Yangpeng in Boao contributed to this story.



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