Policy coordination essential for 'Belt and Road'

By Zhao Kejin
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Third, China should establish a mechanism for transparent negotiations and fair play. The "Belt and Road" initiatives are fundamentally a regional economic cooperation framework, in which the market should play a decisive role in the allocation of resources. Justice, transparency, rule of law and sense of responsibility are all important in infrastructure development under the framework.

The success of the "Belt and Road" initiatives lies in that whether there will be a fair and just system and mechanism. In shaping the "Belt and Road," one has to avoid short-sighted, project-driven ideas. A country should have a broad mind to put into practice actual projects in the framework of bilateral, multilateral and regional mechanisms, and lay a solid foundation for long-term prosperity.

Communication on various levels to expand converging interests

Expanding converging interests is a complicated process of trade-offs, which requires communications on different levels. This includes direct talks between top leaders, and between central governmental agencies, local governments and policymakers. The vast network of communications, which are intended to make various policies understood by everyone, is key to expanding the converging interests on the "Belt and Road" Initiatives.

First, communication on policies between top leaders

The connectivity of development plans involve many fields and require complicated negotiations on interest. Most countries are involved in globalization and regionalization, making them more interdependent. But a key issue is how a country can ensure win-win results while balancing its own development with global development.

In this sense, communications between top leaders should focus more on views on development and philosophy. President Xi has met with Russian President Vladimir Putin frequently on bilateral and multilateral occasions; Xi and Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev held heartfelt talks. Such examples show how communications on policies should be conducted.

Second, communication on policies at lower levels

After top leaders cleared the path, central government agencies and local governments become the actual parties to draft and implement policies. The communications between ministers and local governments cover various specific fields. Bilateral senior-level talks, multilateral cooperative forums and global senior forums will all serve the purpose. In those communications, one should not only discuss policies and other concrete matters, but also seek to build a personal relationship with one another to make the rapport a facilitating factor for the implementation of new policies. As for local governments of all levels, they should make the most of their own advantages, expand room for concrete cooperation, build trust with their counterparts and seek continuous development.

Third, communications on policies between research institutes and think tanks

Communications on the "Belt and Road" policies should focus on existing policies as well as potential ones, meaning that communications with policy research departments in the government are equally important as well as those with think tanks because such communications will help understand a government's thoughts as to predict what policies are likely to be unveiled in the future.

To sum up, the development of the "Belt and Road" involves various aspects that require wisdom and synergies from all parties concerned. To start with, each sector should ensure sound communications on policies with its counterparts in other countries. In strengthening the policy communication with countries along the "Belt and Road," China should prepare common ground for cooperation, predict the possibility of friction, and think through issues worthy of attention in order to connect the "Belt and Road" countries through different policies.

The writer is an associate professor in International Relations at Tsinghua University and a senior research fellow at Charhar Institute.

The article was translated by Chen Boyuan. Its original unabridged version was published in Chinese.

Opinion articles reflect the views of their authors only, not necessarily those of China.org.cn

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