Collaborative Modernization
-- The Essence of “the Belt and Road Initiative”

By Ke Yinbin
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, October 28, 2015
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SYNOPSIS: Based on the speeches of Chinese President Xi Jinping and the official documents of the Chinese government, this article examines the meaning, nature, aims, principles, contents and measures comprising “the Belt and Road Initiative” and comes up with two core keywords: "common" and "modernization." Then, based on two different scales -- nation state/international regime and economic growth/all-round development -- it analyzes various modernization theories and their features to develop the concept of "collaborative modernization" and its major features. Finally, according to the above analysis, it is concluded that the essence of “the Belt and Road Initiative” is "collaborative modernization."

What is “the Belt and Road Initiative”?

This is a core question, and also an issue of most concern for foreign countries. According to President Xi Jinping's speeches and the official documents released by the Chinese government, the main contents of “the Belt and Road Initiative” (B&R Initiative) include the following aspects:

The meaning of the B&R Initiative

(For China) The initiative will enable the country to further expand and deepen its opening-up.

(For Asia) The initiative originates in Asia, relies on Asia and benefits Asia. Focusing on the connectivity of Asian countries, it aims to expand their common interests.

(For the countries along the "Belt and Road") Accelerating the building of the "Belt and Road" can help promote the economic prosperity of the countries along the route as well as overall regional economic cooperation, and strengthen exchanges and mutual learning between different civilizations.

(For the world) The initiative will enable China to strengthen its mutually beneficial cooperation with countries in Asia, Europe and Africa and the rest of the world, and help promote international peace and development. They are a great undertaking that will benefit people around the world.

The nature of the B&R Initiative

The B&R Initiativeis the common undertaking of China and its Asian neighbors. It is not closed, but open and inclusive; it does not constitute a solo performed by China, but rather a chorus of all the countries along the route. It does not aim to replace existing regional cooperation mechanisms or initiatives, but promote integration and the complementary aspects of the development strategies of the countries along the route based on existing mechanisms. It is not an empty slogan, but a tangible practical measure bringing real benefits for these regions and countries. (Xi Jinping)

The B&R Initiative was proposed by China, but it has no monopoly. It does not represent a solo, but rather a symphony; not a one-man’s show, but group calisthenics. (Li Zhaoxing)

The B&R Initiative is an ambitious economic vision of the opening-up of and cooperation among the countries along the "Belt and Road."

It represents a way for win-win cooperation promoting common development and prosperity and a road towards peace and friendship by enhancing mutual understanding and trust, and strengthening all-round exchanges.

In terms of cooperation, the B&R Initiative features mutual respect and trust, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation, and mutual learning between civilizations.

The initiative is a great undertaking that will benefit people around the world. Jointly building the "Belt and Road" is in the fundamental interests of the international community. Reflecting the common ideals and pursuit of human society, it is a positive endeavor to seek new models of international cooperation and global governance, and will inject new positive energy into world peace and development.

The aims of the B&R Initiative

The B&R Initiativeis committed to upholding global free trade and an open world economy.

The connectivity projects of the B&R Initiative will help align and coordinatethe development strategies of the countries along the route, tap the region's full market potential, promote investment and consumption, create demand and job opportunities, enhance people-to-people cultural exchanges and mutual learning between different civilizations, and enable them to understand, trust and respect each other and live in harmony, peace and prosperity.

The initiative aims to build a community of shared interests, common future and responsibility featuring mutual political trust, economic integration and cultural inclusiveness.

The goal of seeking mutual benefit and shared security: Countries along the "Belt and Road" need to improve the region's infrastructure, and put in place a secure and efficient network of land, sea and air passages, lifting their connectivity to a higher level; further enhance trade and investment facilitation, establish a network of free trade areas of the highest standard, maintain closer economic ties, and deepen political trust; increase people-to people cultural exchanges; encourage different civilizations to learn from each other and flourish together; and promote mutual understanding, peace and friendship among people of all countries.

The aim of the B&R Initiative is to build a community of shared interests for win-win cooperation. (Wang Yi)

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