Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

Rreport on re-visit Silk Road tour

By Shozab Abbas ( Updated: 2014-09-03 14:39

The Chinese Foreign Ministry organized a tour to revisit the Silk Road for a group of diplomats based in Beijing. Ten days long tour was attended by fifteen diplomats from South – Central Asia, Middle East and Europe. The delegation of diplomats visited Xian city, Shaanxi province, Tianshui city of Guansu province and Yinchuan city in Ningxia autonomous region along the Yellow River. They witnessed the socio-economic conditions of the Western provinces of China and gathered first-hand information regarding the industrial and technological development, agricultural achievements, and cultural heritage glory of China.

President Xi Jinping in October 2013 introduced the concepts of “New Economic Silk Road” and “Maritime Economic Belt” to launch a new regional plan for economic development and social prosperity. The new Silk Road will be built on old Silk Road which used to be a connecting bridge between China and the then regional empires to exchange trade, commerce and culture to cement the old civilizations. To revive the past glory and physical connectivity, the new initiative by the Chinese government has been well received by the countries of Central Asia, South Asia, Middle East, Europe and Africa.

The intention of Chinese government to promote the regional trade and development is based on mutual understanding and cooperation. The focus of this connectivity is hinged upon the central idea of trade and development to enhance people to people contact and social improvement and regional cooperation among the states along Silk Road.

The officials from Foreign Ministry informed that the framework for new Silk Road initiative is based on openness, inclusivity and voluntary participation. The new Silk Road concept has thoroughly embodied ecological and environmental considerations to build firm foundation for green revolution to ensure long-term foundation of social development and economic growth in the region. The financial base of this cooperation is designed on win-win philosophy and emphasised the model of one road-one belt concept to strengthen Chinese relationship with each and every country in its neighbourhood.

To implement the strategy of new Silk Road, the diplomats observed the budding obstacles and challenges of the proposed project. They were impressed to see the flourishing new projects of roads, bridges, buildings, canals and infrastructure in the Western China. Growing businesses of international companies, hardworking local agrarian labour force and coherent regional and central planning have immense potential to integrate the less developed western region with high-tech and advanced eastern region of China. The Silk Road initiative is seen by the diplomats as a game changer for the Western regions of China. Local plans and strategies were discussed to use local resources and entrepreneurial skills of people to increase the income to bridge the socio-economic gap between East and West China.

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