Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

Czechs are helping build a road of common prosperity

By Fu Jing (China Daily) Updated: 2016-03-23 07:39

Czechs are helping build a road of common prosperity

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka in Beijing, capital of China, Nov. 26, 2015. [Xinhua/Xie Huanchi]

My interviews with politicians, businesspeople, shop owners, writers, sports coaches and even people on the streets show the Czech Republic, which I visited recently, is "tailor made" for China's Belt and Road Initiative, because Czechs are well prepared to meet China's proposals, have a long list of ideas about how to engage with the Chinese people and are ready to turn those ideas into reality.

The Czech Republic, along with countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Pakistan, Russia, Indonesia and Greece, is set to become a partner in the Belt and Road Initiative, which President Xi Jinping proposed three years ago to better connect Asia, Europe and Africa with improved infrastructure, stronger trade and finance vehicles, freer flow of talents and more cultural exchanges.

Xi proposed the initiative to help the world economy flourish and eradicate poverty. To make the initiative a success, however, the participating countries should also offer concrete ideas.

The Czech Republic understands this very well. It has come up with mega-programs to realize connectivity, which is the core element of the Belt and Road Initiative. Being a land-locked country with a total population that add up to only half of Beijing's, the Czech Republic is working on a water corridor linking the Danube, Oder and Elbe rivers to gain access to the Black Sea, Baltic Sea and the North Sea. And it is keen to seek China's help to fulfil that dream.

Like many European countries that use "gateways" to highlight their geographic advantages, the Czech Republic too has offered to work with China to turn Prague into an aviation and financial hub. And it has already partnered with China's Sichuan province to build a high-tech industrial zone.

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