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Ambassador says Belt and Road will be path to peace

By ZHAO HUANXIN and YUAN YUAN | China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-20 06:25

The Belt and Road Initiative is more than just building roads and railways. It is about building connectivity that leads to peace, prosperity, openness and development for all, Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai said on Thursday.

"China is ready to work with all parties, including the US, to translate these grand ideas into reality," Cui said at a meeting of prominent Chinese-Americans.

"We are encouraged by the positive response from the international community to the success of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation," Cui said of the meeting that concluded on Monday in Beijing.

The initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013.

The US has formed the American Belt and Road Working Group to serve as "one node" for cooperation on the initiative, according to Matthew Pottinger, a special assistant to President Donald Trump and leader of the US delegation to the forum.

Cui confirmed that Xi and Trump still plan to meet again later in the year.

The ambassador received a Leadership Award for Advancing US-China Relations on Thursday at the opening of the 2017 annual conference of the Committee of 100.

The C100 is an organization of Chinese-Americans dedicated to the spirit of excellence and achievement in the US. Its members include architect I.M. Pei and cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, Trump's pick for US ambassador to China, also received the award. His son received the award on his behalf.

Borrowing from the philosophy of traditional Chinese medicine, Cui said that when a person is not feeling well, the root cause is that his qi, or universal life energy, is disrupted, because qi is essential in keeping body parts connected and working in harmony.

"So, when our world is not feeling well, something important that is supposed to flow smoothly is missing," Cui said. "To our world today, the missing qi is connectivity, both in the physical and in the subjective sense."

The initiative offers the right spirit and tools to connect countries and regions and peoples, he said.

It aims to realize physical connectivity in land, sea, air and cyberspace, as well as soft connectivity in terms of policies, rules and standards, he said. It also enables the unimpeded flow of capital, technology, information, products, industries and personnel.

The ambassador said he thinks the Xi-Trump meeting in Palm Beach, Florida, in early April helped foster better connectivity between China and the United States. Cooperation, he said, is the only right choice for the world's two largest economies.

"The problems in today's China-US relationship should not be seen as permanent and insurmountable ones," Cui said.

"The way to fix them is to further develop our relations and resolve problems in a sensible and proper manner through coordination and consultation."

US Congressman Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said that prosperity and opportunity across the globe depend on the success of Sino-US relations.

"The way to peace and understanding is through engagement, through understanding culture, and through understanding the bridge that the Chinese-American community is creating," he said.

Yuan Yuan in Washington contributed to this story.

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