The Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiatives are expected to further stimulate business this year between China and trading partners along the routes through diversified trade activities, investment and currency exchanges.
The so-called One Belt, One Road concept was put forward by President Xi Jinping in 2013, putting the world’s second-largest economy on track to rejuvenate the two ancient trade routes and further open up markets.
Lyu Xinhua, spokesman for the Third Session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said on March 2 it is not accurate to compare the two initiatives to the Marshall Plan, which was launched by the United States to help rebuild post-World War II Europe.
Eager to promote regional integration, cooperation and mutual development, China is willing to offer more financial and project assistance to its neighbors through regional connectivity, technical exchanges and the building of financial institutions.
“While a good knowledge of history can help us understand the current global economic setting, inadequate comparisons of concepts based on superficial similarities can only distort or mislead,” Lyu said.
The Silk Road Economic Belt is to be established along the ancient Silk Road land trade route stretching northwest from China’s coastal area through Central Asia to Europe. The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road with transect the nation’s south and connect to Southeast Asia.
Ren Hongbin, executive vice-president of the Beijing-based Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, the think tank of the Ministry of Commerce, said that even though the project is still in the early stages, it could have meaningful economic implications.