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 Work hard to Build a New Starting Point of the Silk Road Economic Belt

Thinking and Practice of ShaanxiProvince Studying

Strategy of “One Belt and One Road

By Zhao Zhengyong, Secretary of the CPC

Committee of ShaanxiProvince

(Published in people.cn and People’s Daily on September 9, 2014)

 

In the last September and October, President Xi Jinping put forward the strategic concepts of jointly building “the Silk Road Economic Belt” and “the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road” in succession when he visited Kazakhstan and Indonesia. It has caused strong repercussions at home and abroad, and met with extensive responses from the countries and regions along the lines. Shaanxi Province has fulfilled the strategic vision consciously and initiatively for one year, not only significantly promoting our economic transition, but also bringing us more profound understanding and sentiments to the important strategic decision coordinating domestic and international general situations in accordance with the great changes of the world, giving us more confidence to build a new open economic system in China and form a multi-directional open pattern for the goals of the Two One-Hundred Years and China Dream of the Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation.

Expand Our New Horizons over the Large Layout

The important strategic concept put forward by the CPC Central Committee headed by General Secretary Xi Jinping, showing great foresight to working out a splendid plan, has integrated China Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation with the desire for good life of the people of the countries and regions along the Silk Road. Pointing out the direction for China to accelerate the formation of a new pattern of coordination of land and sea and balance of the eastern and western regions so as to open up to the outside world in all directions and develop comprehensively, it has provided a new opportunity to promote the regional common prosperity and world peace development.

It conforms to the profound changes of Asia’s Rise in the whole international pattern. At present the significant changes have taken place in contrast of the international political and economic forces. The influence and status of the Asian and African developing countries in the international pattern are increasing and improving. In this context of the great changes, the strategic conception of building of “One Belt and One Road” put forward by Mr. Xi Jinping has expanded China’s peaceful development road, strengthening the mutual promotion and win-win cooperation between China and the countries and regions along the lines in all directions and multi levels. It is beneficial to maintain and preserve China’s strategic opportunity and protect the basic conditions of China’s peaceful development, and further enhance the international influence and voice of China and the Asia-Pacific region.

It highlights the peaceful development concept of the community of destiny. Mr. Xi Jinping pointed out that the world prosperity is China’s opportunity, and China’s development is also the one of the world. Facing the complex situation of the world economy and global issues, no country could develop itself without others’ help because the international community is increasingly becoming a common destiny, which is interdependent. To build “One Belt and One Road” is good to expand the market size and vigor the growth potential in Eurasian region and benefit all the peoples through extensive cooperation, exchanges and development.

It reflects our big-nation’s thinking of inclusive development. Mr. Xi Jinping pointed out that countries with different races, faiths and cultures can jointly develop. We should respect all countries to independently choose their social systems and development paths, eliminating doubts and barriers so as to change the world diversities and national differences into development vitality and power. To build One Belt and One Road embodies the Chinese traditional culture that the sea contains every river, and the greatness contains everything, demonstrating the image of responsible China.

It shows self-confidence of road of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Jointly building One Belt and One Road, we shall put up a new platform to let people know more about China and further recognize China, spreading the world the great achievements of China's reform and opening up, providing a worthy development paradigm for the countries along the Silk Road, sharing China’s governing ideas and development experiences in a wider context, so as to add the Chinese forces in promoting the prosperity and development of the world.

It will create an upgrade of the regional development strategy. Since the founding of New China, our CPC has always been attaching importance to solve a major issue for the coordinated regional development. In the article of On the Ten Major Relations, Mr. Mao Zedong put forward an important thesis on correctly handling the relations of the coastal and inland industries, promoting the Chinese inland to go to industrialization path. Mr. Deng Xiaoping proposed the strategic thinking of the Two General Situations, opening a new chapter for China’s modernization led by the eastern coastal development. Mr. Jiang Zemin seized the opportunity to put forward the western development strategy. Mr. Hu Jintao put forward a coordinated regional development strategy of pioneer of the eastern China, rise of the central China, development of the western China and revitalization of the northeastern China. Keeping up with the times, being creative, enriching and expanding the strategic thinking that China’s development must take into account the regional balance, the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping as general secretary, proposed the strategic concept on jointly building One Belt and One Road, closely linking the regional development and opening-up so as to make domestic and international linkage, inter-regional collaboration, the east and west  simultaneousness, matching the land with the sea , promote the development from the line to pieces, greatly expand the development space so that we have a broader vision of development.

It has opened an important way to realize China Dream. Belonging to the Chinese people, China Dream is the national dream formed by the regional ones. To build One Belt and One Road will help to boost the inland and border area from the edge of opening up to the forefront, getting rid of the open shortage bottlenecks and enhancing the economic development of strength and comprehensive competitiveness, safeguarding the national unity and consolidating border security, strengthening the development advantages of opening up in the eastern region, powering the marine economy, better playing the leading role; it is conducive to co-ordinate the use of both international and domestic markets and resources in a wider field and a wider range, promoting the regional cooperation, and opening a new way to realize China Dream.

Take new steps to implement the great strategy.

Since the initiation of the strategy of One Belt and One Road, China’s relevant departments have been attaching great importance to Mr. Xi Jinping’s requirements of policy communication, road Unicom, trade flow, currency circulation and people goodwill, acting quickly, accelerating formulation of the master plan for One Belt and One Road, studying introduction of the specific measures to expand the new space of international cooperation. As the starting point of the ancient Silk Road and an important hub of the new Eurasian Continental Bridge, with a long history in contacts and exchanges with the Central Asian countries, Shaanxi has good conditions and basis to become the new starting point for jointly building of the Silk Road economic belt, also the responsibility and confidence to shoulder the historic mission. Over the past year, initiatively integrating Shaanxi’s development with the big pattern of One Belt and One Road, seizing the opportunity, opening up westwards, taking advantage for the first try, we have made new steps to build the new starting point of the Silk Road economic belt.

Build Policy platform based on mutual trust. We shall grasp the missions that the state has approved to establish Xixian New Area and given an important fulcrum to the Silk Road Economic Belt, focusing on deepening exchanges and cooperation with the Central Asia, vigorously promoting ShaanxiProvince to open up westwards. On the Fifth Eurasian Economic Forum, we advocated 9 countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt to issue Xi’an Declaration on Jointly Building the Silk Road Economic Belt, forming a consensus for the countries along the line to promote the cause.

We have organized a roundtable conference participated in by 20 mayors from the countries along the Silk Road. Xi’an, capital city of ShaanxiProvince has established friendly relations with Mary, Turkmenistan and Samarkand, Uzbekistan as well as other cities, conducting exchanges and cooperation. At the same time, we are accelerating the construction of Xi'an Chanba consulate district in order to promote the Central Asian countries to establish consulates in Xi'an, also actively setting up business organizations in the key cities along the Silk Road.

Build three-dimensional traffic system. We shall pay great attention to establish a railway, highway and air transport network connecting with the Central Asia so as to facilitate exchanges through the traffic development. ShaanxiProvince's expressway has exceeded 4300 kilometers, forming an important hub for all directions. Chang’an cargo freight from Xian to Zhem, Kazakhstan has been included in the "Central Europe Express" and achieved normal operation, and the traffic and radiation capacity of EurasianContinentalBridge in Shaanxi segment has been improved compressively. Xi'an Xianyang International Airport has added 4 new international and regional routes, with a total of 243 domestic and international routes; in the first half of this year, its passenger throughput totaled 13.654 million; China's first aviation city experimental zone has settled in Xixian New Area, the Silk Road aviation hub is being constructed quickly. Xi'an national Internet backbone directly connected point has been opened, while Xi'an International Port District is being built smoothly.

Deepen trade and investment cooperation. We are promoting trade facilitation by simplifying and optimizing all the customs clearance and process. Xi'an Xianyang International Airport has achieved 72 hours transit visa-free. Xi'an ha been listed as one of the e-commerce service pilot cities for cross-border trade. We are accelerating construction of 9 projects for cooperation between China and ne Kazakhstan concerning new energy and water saving agriculture, promoting a number of Shaanxi’s advantage enterprises to make economic and technological cooperation actively. By the end of 2013, Shaanxi enterprises had set up 6 offshore companies in Central Asia, with an actual total investment of over $ 440 million. The import and export volume between Shaanxi and the five Central Asian countries had reached $ 120 million, an increase of 13.27%.

Actively build a regional financial center. In order to promote the currency circulation, we have held Finance Conference of Eurasian Economic Cooperation Forum and Chan’Ba Financial summit forum, strengthening the communication and links with China’s financial regulatory agencies and the State Development Bank, while building the energy financial center of Xixian New Area and offshore RMB back mechanism, so as to set up the energy trading center and settlement organization serving China's opening up westwards. Xi'an ChanBa financial business district’s construction has made new progress, The global call center of Bank of China and the National Development Bank, the China Securities Regulatory Commission, China Insurance Regulatory Commission and other branches have signed into the area.

Strengthen educational and cultural exchanges. We are conducting extensive cooperation in education based on full use of Shaanxi’s resources in culture, heritage and education. We have set up the Silk Road International Law and Comparative Law Institute in Xi'an, JiaotongUniversity, and Institute of Central Asia in NorthwestUniversity, Institute of Central Asia and the Silk Road Economic Belt Development Institute in Xi'an International Studies University. There are more than 1200 students from the Central Asian countries studying and accepting training in various universities in Xi'an. The Silk Road multinational joint heritage application has succeeded. Shaanxi’s 7 relics have been introduced to the World Heritage List. Constructing the ancient Chinese wind themed the historical Silk Road and cultural tourism, we have been organizing a large-scale opera called Zhang Qian. Now, we are working with the Ministry of Culture together to create the First (Xi'an) Silk Road International Film Festival.

Build a new starting point to create a new situation

With implementation of the strategy of One Belt and One Road, Shaanxi‘s position in China’s development layout is more prominent. Focusing on building a new starting point of the Silk Road Economic Belt, we should stand on our own, do our work well, build a highland of the inland reform and opening up, raise the overall level of opening up, accelerate the construction of rich Shanxi, harmonious Shaanxi and beautiful Shaanxi, so as to compose a good chapter of Shaanxi for China Dream.

Give full play to Shaanxi’s location advantage in order to build a new starting point of transport and logistics. The road connectivity is an important prerequisite for the construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt. We shall make full use of advantage of Shaanxi connecting with all directions, prioritize to develop the interconnection infrastructure, build a land, sea and air passageway opening up to the outside world, so as to accelerate the construction of a three-dimensional integrated transport network.

We shall expand Xi'an International Airport, opening more tourist lines and cargo flights to Central Asia, West Asia and Europe in order to create the best air corridor of the Silk Road, further improve the highway network system, and promote the docked highway between the western China and Central Asian countries, establish a rapid transit route of the new Eurasian Continental Bridge as soon as possible, open a line of tourist train from Xi'an to Central Asia, accelerate the construction of passenger train from Xi'an to Lanzhou and Chengdu, intensify and improve the comprehensive bonded capacity so as to create an international trade logistics center.

Release Shaanxi’s science and education potential, build a new starting point of our technological innovation. With 80 colleges and universities, 1.02 million students, more than 1,000 scientific research institutes, 220 thousand scientists, Shaanxi is an important base for China’s scientific and technological innovation. Relying on various scientific and technological parks and industrial bases, Shaanxi will strengthen cooperation with countries along the Silk Road in the textile, equipment manufacturing, and energy and chemical fields.

We shall accelerate the construction of YanglingDryFarmingAgriculturalInternationalCooperationCenter, strengthening the technical training and support for dry land operation and facility agriculture, environmental regulation and water-saving irrigation and so on, so as to build a new technology promotion demonstration base in the Central Asian countries. We shall encourage qualified enterprises to set up R & D centers along the Silk Road countries, making full use of foreign scientific and technological resources and talent to develop new technologies and products with independent intellectual property rights, and new products.

Strengthen the complementary linkage, and build a new starting point for industrial cooperation. We shall act in accordance with the resource endowments, industry characteristics and trends of the countries along the lines in order to find a meeting point and the resonance point of the industrial development. We shall strengthen cooperation with Central Asia, West Asia, Russia and other countries in the fields of energy resources, increase efforts to jointly develop coal, oil, natural gas and solar, wind and other energy fields. Combining the industrial restructuring, we shall encourage electronic information, communication and other high-tech companies to invest in countries along the Silk Road, support engineering machinery, automobile manufacturing and textiles, food processing and other enterprises to expand the production and business to countries with labor enrichment and near the target market, guide the steel, cement and other companies to go to the countries with resource enrichment and big market demand to build production bases in order to release surplus capacity. We shall build a benefit-sharing mechanism to establish China - Central Asia Economic Cooperation Zone, featured export base and the five countries of Central Asia energy trading platform so as to attract all kinds of enterprises of the countries along the lines to establish branches and production bases in Shaanxi and accelerate the gathering of high-end elements.

Propagate and inherit historical culture, build a new starting point of cultural tourism. We shall seize the opportunity of success of the Silk Road joint inscription in order to protect the cultural relics and make archaeological research with the countries along the lines, holding art and film festivals so as to guide and mobilize civil power to carry out a variety of cultural exchanges. We shall support the creation of art culture themed the Silk Road , and foster a number of world famous cultural brands. Using the existing conditions of Xi’an education base for the Central Asia personnel training, actively expand cooperation with the University of Central Asian countries, and strengthen cooperation of tourism, construction, build a charming tourist corridor initiated from Xi’an so as to jointly create the international boutique travel routes and tourism products.

Focus on money circulation for a new starting point of financial cooperation. We shall work hard to build a platform for currency circulation between Xi'an and Eurasian countries, accelerate the construction of Xi’an financial business district, Xi'an high-tech financial service demonstration zone, Xi'an Qujiang Cultural finance Demonstration Park, attracting various financial institutions of European and Asian countries to set up the regional headquarters and offices in Xi’an. We shall improve China’s foreign exchange management reform, act in concert with such major projects as South Korea's Samsung Electronics in order to carry out the offshore financial services. We shall promote the cross-border cooperation in the field of e-commerce platform and e-commerce, strengthen the cooperation of inter-payments of online banking, electronic billing capabilities and regulatory cooperation in the field of banking. At the same time, we shall promote Shaanxi financial service institutions concerning insurance, trust, leasing and so on to make win-win cooperation with Central Asia countries.

One Belt and One Road has initiated for one year, gathering up the consensus for cooperation between the countries and regions along the lines, showing a win-win prospect and promoting our thinking renewal and ideas innovation. We firmly believe that with the deepening of practice and exploration, the strategic concept of One Belt and One Road will be able to release more dividends of reform and development to inspire our vitality for China Dream.

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