Sunday, April 17, 2016

Nepal: Strategic Value of Chinese Silk Road Economic Belt

Shreedhar Gautam,

Image from, with caption: Main routes of the Silk Road
China is a country with one of the four ancient civilization of the world. China is our next door neighbor as well as the second largest economy of the world. China still considers itself as a developing nation despite having emerged as an economic power in the world. Today, it has been able to earn the respect as well recognition from all over the world because of its arduous efforts to raise China’s status from a poor and backward country to a new country with prosperity and potentials. So, it is natural for us to know about the revival of Silk Road by China.
The Silk Road Economic Belt is an idea proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in September 2013. It aims at revival of ancient, political, cultural and commercial significance of the Silk Road, which historically linked China with central Asia and Europe. At the first China Eurasia Expo on September 16, 2014, Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Yang while delivering key note speech said, “We are ready to work with other countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt to open more business cooperation zones in order to provide an enabling environment for the development of industrial clusters”.
Wang said that the argument for building the Silk Road Economic Belt was rooted in the history and oriented ran along a miraculous stretch of land, a land of abundance, diverse ethnic groups and brilliant civilizations,” he noted. “This area with more than 50 countries and 3.8 billion people is one of the most promising regions in the world. As long as we take a long-term perspective and work in unison, we will make the pie of regional economic cooperation bigger.”
On the economic front, China has introduced a plethora of new bilateral and multilateral initiatives, particularly in its immediate neighborhood. The most ambitious projects are the Silk Road Economics Belt and the corresponding Maritime Silk Road each of which includes smaller pieces such as the China-Pakistan economic corridor and the Bangladesh-China-India- China is committed to helping other countries, developing countries and neighboring countries in particular with their development while achieving development of its own. Hence, China’s basic tenet of diplomacy with neighbors is to treat them as friends and partners, to make them feel safe and to help them in their development. It calls for more public diplomacy and people-to-people exchange between China and its neighbors in the region. It shows commitment to the advocacy and practice of multilateralism. It places great value to the important role of the United Nations and other international organizations.
The world needs China’s development experience, technology and capital. In particular, China’s vast foreign reserves could be a rare source of financing for infrastructure projects in many developing countries and emerging markets amid towering debt situations in many rich countries. China also needs the world to expand its markets and investment destinations. The “go global” initiative would boost economic growth and add jobs back in China. It would also help ease overcapacity in some industries and upgrade China’s economic structure. ...

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