“The Silk Road Economic Belt” and “The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road” are the major components under the “Belt and Road Initiative”. Between September and October 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Central and Southeast Asia. Xi declared China's intention to initiate a plan to strengthen economic cooperation and partnership between China and the countries that are located along the ancient Silk Road. Its focus is building and improving the infrastructure of these countries. The plan is later branded as “Belt and Road Initiative”.
The “Belt and Road Initiative” framework aims at bringing benefits to all as well as enhancing regional security. Strategic plans for regional cooperation have been worked out in the high of the unique problems faced by different countries arisising from economic crises. China will remain committed to the opening up of her economy and further integration into the world economic system. For this, China is committed to taking greater responsibilities and fulfilling her obligations.
The “Belt and Road” will focus on building a new Eurasian land bridge and economic corridor. Development of key economic industrial parks will be used as cooperation platforms. At Sea, the initiative will focus on the building of smooth, secure and efficient transport routes that connect major sea ports along “Belt and Road”.
For the countries along “Belt and Road”, the foundation of cooperation is based on five major principles aimed at promoting:
- (1) Policy coordination;
- (2) Facilities connectivity;
- (3) Unimpeded trade;
- (4) Financial integration; and
- (5) Sharing of ideas among the peoples.
The “Belt and Road” is a new strategic approach to attain international cooperation raised by China. The initiative can help different countries integrate more efficiently into regional economy leading to global economic prosperity and world peace.